This is perhaps the most audacious thing Google has done but it seems they have bought the financial comparison site Beatthatquote.com for £37.7m
Update: within 24 hours of the acquisition beatthatquote.com no longer ranks on Google when you search for “beatthatquote”. Still no announcement from Google on the matter.
BeatThatQuote.com today was sold to Google for GBP37.7 million. We think this deal is a tremendous opportunity for our company to develop new and innovative options for personal finance in the UK.
Our team is excited about becoming a part of Google. We look forward to working with their engineers to create new tools making it easier for consumers to choose the right financial products. We think we can offer more transparency and better pricing information than existing online offerings.
We are confident that by combining BeatThatQuote.com’s expertise in UK financial products with Google’s technology, we’ll accelerate innovation in this field, benefiting consumers and the companies offering these products. We plan to keep working with our current partners and look forward to working with new ones, too.
I have no idea how Google can hope to get this past regulators. This is going to cause a lot of controversy.
Good news of course for the company involved!
If Google was going to do a product search style comparison engine they might cut out the middlemen and aggregate deals directly from big financial institutions. However with this move they are buying one of the middlemen sites. Perhaps Beatthatquote.com had some good software and Google wanted that? Will be interesting to see how finance & insurance price comparison sites like Go Compare and Money Supermarket fare over the next couple of years once Google does something in this space.
My personal opinion is that Google should steer well clear of doing things like this. If they want to build their own services such as shopping or financial comparisons I can understand but surely any site they own has to be removed from the index in a sector like this?