Microsoft buys JellyFish, Netbank no more, etc

This is a roundup of a few notable events in the shopping/bargains niche that drew my attention over the past week.

Microsoft buys JellyFish

JellyFish is a price comparison site that pioneered cost per action model in June 2006 and then a few months later spiced it up with reverse price auctions (read my previous coverage here and here).

The auctions have been a huge success for JellyFish. On September 5, 2007 in a smart marketing stunt JellyFish auctioned new Toyota Prius that sold for $18,781 which is 15% below MSRP or 8% below invoice price as quoted by Edmunds.

On October 1, Microsoft announced on its Live Search blog that they acquired the company for an undisclosed amount. As a part of the deal JellyFish team will maintain its standalone identity and its 26 employees will remain in Wisconsin.

My congratulation to Aaron Everson and others at JellyFish team! I hope you are able to keep the ball rolling and “corporate BS” will not stand in the way. ;-)

Read more from BusinessWeek

NetBank closed by US regulators

Even though I am reading now that many had seen this coming for some time, it personally took me by surprise. The major clue would be de-listing the company from NASDAQ earlier this year.

I have a CD-account with NetBank and so far I am not able to get through to the customer service (phone: 888-256-6932). All officers are busy (probably serving all those anxious customers who try to get to their savings) and the hold time is beyond my patience threshold.

After NetBank closed, ING assumed $1.5 billion worth of the failed bank’s FDIC insured deposits. When I spoke to ING rep. they assured me that my account will be rolled into ING upon maturity however I am free to close it now penalty free.

I noticed that somehow I now start paying more attention to that “FDIC insured” logo on bank websites (I read somewhere that customers with deposits in excess of FDIC $100,000 limit will only get one half of their money).

Has closing NetBank affected your finances?

Read more from MarketWatch

Toyota tests new fuel cell hybrid

The success of Prius obviously helped Toyota to realize the huge potential of alternative fuels and I am not surprised at all to see this recent development.

Toyota Motor Corp said on Friday its improved FCHV zero-emission fuel-cell car completed a road test from Osaka to Tokyo, covering 560 km (350 miles), on a single tank of hydrogen.

The vehicle is built upon Toyota’s Highlander SUV and pioneers some amazing new technology like polymer electrolyte fuel cell stack, CO2 based coolant system, and aluminum fenders, roof and other components which make it lighter than the original Highlander.

According to HydrogenCars blog this car is the “first fuel cell vehicle to acquire vehicle type certification under the Road Vehicles Act by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport”.

Most automakers have fuel cell vehicles in the working with expected launch dates around 2012. Does this bit of news mean that Toyota will be able to break that deadline?

Read more from Reuters

See also:

1 Response to “Microsoft buys JellyFish, Netbank no more, etc”

  1. 1 Donald Mckenzie Jr Oct 5th, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    That’s pretty interesting. Microsoft is buying almost everything up nowadays.

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