On March 21, 2005, Barry Diller and IAC/InterActiveCorp announced an acquisition of Ask Jeeves Inc. IAC will offer $1.9 billion in stock for the web search site that ranks a distant fifth to the likes of Yahoo! and Google.
Barry Diller and IAC/InterActiveCorp seek to capitalize on the strong growth in the online advertising market. What’s more, IAC will try to capitalize on the synergies between this latest acquisition and its already extensive collection of web properties (Citysearch, Ticketmaster, Expedia, Hotels.com, LendingTree, Match.com, etc.).
At Apollo Wealth Management, we thought it might be nice to get to know the ‘man’ behind Ask Jeeves. We recently ‘sat down’ with the most refined of ‘gentlemen’ and peppered ‘him’ with several off-thewall and downright ridiculous questions. Here’s what Jeeves had to say:
(Note: All of Jeeves’ responses were search results generated when we typed our questions into the Ask Jeeves search engine.)
AWM: Who is to blame for all of this rain?
Jeeves: Milli Vanilli and Canada.
AWM: Interesting. Who do you think is a handsome guy?
Jeeves: Bill Hemmer (CNN morning anchor with Soledad O’Brien).
AWM: Are we smart?
Jeeves: Visit ‘The Dumb Network’.
AWM: Touché. Tell us, does Bill Clinton really feel our pain?
Jeeves: Arkansas figured out how to get rid of him.
AWM: Do you like the name Jeeves?
Jeeves: No. I’m evil and I’m not sure if I’m gay.
AWM: Ummm…ok. Anyway, why are you only the fifth most popular search engine?
Jeeves: The BBC.
AWM: Does Charlton Heston need another gun?
Jeeves: With over 5 million new items every day, you’ll always find what you’re looking for on eBay.
AWM: Point taken. Let’s turn our attention to the financial markets for a moment. Will we ever see NASDAQ 5000 again?
Jeeves: Confidence plunges.
AWM: With the Passover holiday rapidly approaching, Jews all over the world will be asking the same question. Tell us what you think. Jeeves, why is this night different from all other nights?
Jeeves: Animal behavior.
AWM: Speaking of animal behavior, is Michael Jackson guilty?
Jeeves: Kobe Bryant and R. Kelly.
AWM: We’re not sure how to take that. Turning to popular culture for a moment, can you tell us who are these idiots that watch ‘reality’ TV?
AWM: Is Disney evil?
Jeeves: Disney is evil.
AWM: We concur! So who is to blame for America’s fascination with The Beatles and Elvis Presley?
Jeeves: Richard Nixon and Don Henley.
AWM: Admit it, we’re the most handsome people to have ever interviewed you.
Jeeves: Here’s a link to a biography of J.D. Salinger.
AWM: Right. Anyway, women the world over are dying to know…are you married?
Jeeves: Married with children. Here’s some information on extramarital affairs.
AWM: That doesn’t sound like a happy marriage. Let’s turn to sports for a moment. Does anyone miss the NHL?
Jeeves: Do it yourself.
AWM: So we should get off our butts and get some exercise. Right on! Let’s chat about politics for a moment. How do you feel about the military action in Iraq?
Jeeves: Veterans for common sense.
AWM: Sounds like you were a Kerry guy last November. Who did you vote for?
Jeeves: Will God vote for us on the last day?
AWM: Hmmmmm…anti-war and a bible-thumper. You’re an interesting fellow Jeeves. So what do you think…Hillary in ’08?
Jeeves: Hillary needs a makeover.
AWM: Jeeves, will you pull my finger?
Jeeves: Dave Barry.
AWM: (Mental note: see Dave Barry for finger pulling) So Jeeves, who ya got in your Final Four?
Jeeves: BlackPlanet, Vic and B-Boys.
AWM: That’s only three…and those aren’t even colleges.
Jeeves: Australian immigration.
AWM: You must be thinking of that center on the Utah squad. They’re out of the tournament Jeeves. Anyway, let’s put an end to the sports chat with one last question. Don’t you think it’s about time for another baseball movie from Kevin Costner?
Jeeves: The upside of anger.
AWM: Exactly! We don’t think we need anything from Kevin Costner let alone another movie about baseball. What’s this guy’s fascination anyway? OK, so what are your thoughts about climbing into bed with Barry Diller?
Jeeves: Barry Diller considered it pathetic.
AWM: Interesting viewpoint. Finally, let’s tackle Social Security. Are private accounts a good idea?
Jeeves: Greenspan backs Social Security plan.
AWM: But what are your thoughts?
Jeeves: Yeah, my thoughts exactly.
AWM: Well, there you have it…a look at the $1.9 billion dollar ‘man’.
Thanks for your time Jeeves.