Microsoft has acquired the comparative shopping Web site Jellyfish. The e-commerce site uses an innovative technique where buyers get a cut of the amount that advertisers pay Jellyfish as commission for sales.
A quote from the article at Redherring:
Jellyfish, based in
Middleton, Wisconsin, wants to turn the cost-per-click advertising model popularized by Google on its head. Under Jellyfish's cost-per-action model, advertisers pay only when Web surfers buy.
The site lets online shops of such stores as Target and Home Depot specify a buyer discount, essentially letting merchants bid for consumers. Jellyfish, which has several patents pending on its method, then passes along at least half of its commission to the buyer.
Technology companies are voraciously searching for domains that represent innovative online business models. Microsoft, having recently woken up to the potential of marketing over the Web (courtesy of the stupendous rise and threat of Google), hopes to significantly augment its profits with various online initiatives.
More news links:
Microsoft buys Jellyfish.com shopping site (PC World | IDG News service)
Microsoft's Jellyfish buy is no stinger (BusinessWeek)