IAC/InterActiveCorp. will unveil next week a new local information service that combines Web search, city guides, maps and event listings, in one of the conglomerate’s broadest moves yet to combine its assets, Chairman and CEO Barry Diller said on Monday.
The new Web-based city guides, due out on December 4, will be followed later in December by a redesign of IAC’s Ask.com search service, a small but fast-growing rival to Google Inc. that Diller said would offer a new paradigm for Web search.
“We are coming out with AskCity, which is our local service,” Diller told the Reuters Media Summit in New York. “It is just wildly better than anything else because we are able to bring in all of our assets.”
The local information service will provide a more convenient way for Web users to comb through the 10 years of entertainment listings and services stored in its CitySearch service, along with links to maps, events and ticket services.
It combines assets of Ask.com, CitySearch, Evite and TicketMaster, among other IAC properties, Diller said.
“It integrates maps, integrates events, integrates all of these different attributes that we have got in the best thing you will be able to use in a city to do things,” he said.
Ask.com is looking to stay several steps ahead of far larger search rivals Google, Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. by innovating faster and taking advantage of its stable of Web and e-commerce sites, he said.
Diller said forthcoming changes would include a new home page for Ask.com and a new way of searching the Web.
“We are coming out with the beginnings of, I think, a whole new geography of search itself, of how the front page looks — the home page, of how you use search,” he said. “I have not seen anything that anyone is doing that is anywhere near it.”
IAC has focused on growing its existing businesses, in sharp contrast to years of relying on a regular stream of fresh acquisitions to drive growth across the network of companies.
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