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Mamma enters the Desktop Search war, buys Copernic

Montreal-based search marketing player has announced plans to acquire desktop search developer Copernic Technologies for an undisclosed cash and stock offer.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2005. It will need to be approved by the directors of, as well as the shareholders of privately-held Copernic. has retained San Francisco-based investment bank Merriman Curhan Ford & Co. as an advisor in the pending acquisition.

According to Guy Faure, president and CEO of, the acquisition will give added value to and Copernic users and expose's advertisers to a broader demographic. More than 30 million users have downloaded Copernic Agent.

Desktop search -- and especially desktop search that integrates Web search -- has become a hot space in recent months. Google unveiled its desktop search in November, and Microsoft recently showed off its efforts at an analyst's day at its headquarters. Smaller players like Blinkx are also working to make a mark in this area.

Despite all this attention, the desktop search lacks a clear revenue model on its own, according to Niki Scevak, an analyst with Jupiter Research. "When you look at how money is made in search, one-third of total queries conducted on a search engine generate the paid search revenue. Those are searches with commercial intent," he said. "If you look at the intent of a desktop searcher, there's not a lot of commercial intent there."

Via Mamma to Acquire Copernic