February 29, 2008 / 11:47 PM / 11 years ago

Ask.com not planning to scrap search: source

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Online search site Ask.com is not getting rid of its specialized search technology, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday, saying a blog report to that effect was incorrect.

Analysts cited a report in Silicon Alley Insider on Friday as one of several factors that led shares 7 percent lower in Ask.com’s parent, IAC/InterActiveCorp.

IAC is due to go to trial against its controlling shareholder Liberty Media next month, which also weighed on shares, analysts said.

The blog said Ask was considering getting rid of its Teoma engine and using search from Google Inc, with which it already has a five-year, $3.5 billion advertising deal.

“If that were accurate, that is a big change,” said Stifel Nicolaus analyst Scott Devitt. “They spent a lot of advertising dollars against the unique experience at Ask.”

The company would not comment on the reports.

IAC named company executive Jim Safka to the helm of Ask.com in January to help revitalize the business, which still trails far behind Google and other rivals in overall search market share despite an expansion of its services and an aggressive marketing campaign.

Reporting by Michele Gershberg, Editing by Toni Reinhold

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