IAC (NSDQ: IACI), which already had a long-standing agreement with Google (NSDQ: GOOG) under which the dominant search engine powered the search ads on Ask.com and some of the company’s other sites, has now extended the deal through 2016. The agreement, which had been renewed at least once previously, was set to expire in 2012.
Under the deal’s terms, Google “provides IAC’s search products and network partners with sponsored listings and other search-related services.” IAC says in a statement that the terms of the new agreement are “comparable” to the previous one.
The renewal comes as IAC has been reinventing Ask.com as a Q&A site. In November, the company cut 130 jobs at Ask.com, saying it would no longer be developing its own web search technology and would rely on partners instead. The speculation at the time was that the primary partner would be Google, although that has not been confirmed. We’ve asked and will update if we learn more.
Where is Bing? We had not heard any speculation that Microsoft’s Bing search engine was actively competing to power search ads on Ask.com or IAC’s other sites, and although Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) has been spending heavily to compete in the search market, it has now either lost out or passed on three opportunities to power search search ads on major third-party sites. Google renewed its search agreements with both MySpace (NSDQ: NWS) and AOL (NYSE: AOL) last fall.