Media mogul Barry Diller, who confounded sceptics nearly twenty years ago when oversaw the successful launch of a fourth broadcast television network at Fox, is pumping his entrepreneurial skills plus over $2 billion of his dollars into a search engine-driven advertising model.

Diller's InterActiveCorp acquired Ask Jeeves, a nine-year-old survivor of the nineties' dotcom crash, for $2.3 billion (€1.9bn; £1.3bn) in a deal completed just two weeks ago.

In a replay of Diller's successful foray into the network TV oligarchy, Ask Jeeves is set to muscle-in on territory dominated by two titans, Google and Yahoo! Another recent entrant into the search-coliseum is Microsoft with its revamped MSN search engine.

Internet researcher eMarketer estimates that the paid search concept has exploded into a $5.4bn market in the US alone. Search ads account for around 42% of the $12.9 billion that advertisers are expected to spend on the internet this year.

Data sourced from (USA); additional content by WARC staff