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Ask.com firm palms off Excite Europe

Changes hands more often than Abu Hamza

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Still remember Excite? The web portal also-ran used to be somebody in times of internet yore.

Excite Europe has now been taken on by something called GoAdv, "a media company specialised in generating qualified traffic on the internet". The Italian firm has declared the modest aim of boosting traffic to the portal from its current piddly five million users per month to a mildly-less-piddly 12 million.

We'd be interested to know how much of its traffic is generated by Sunday surfers who haven't changed their homepage since 1998.

IAC Search and Media, the company which owns Ask.com, and has rather disappointingly binned the snooty butler marketing of Ask Jeeves days, retains ownership of Excite.com. For why, given it looks like it's been cobbled together by YTS web design students, we do not know.

Excite Europe was last sold by Tiscali to IAC in 2005 for €6.1m. Two years later, GoAdv has only had to lay down €2.7m for the old biffer.

The chunk of change has bought it sites aimed at the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. GoAdv president Luca Ascani said: "Excite's reputation... will allow us to increase our revenues as of early 2008. We also plan to increase our profitability by further developing the natural attractivity of our sites."

Marvellous. Excite UK is here. ®

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