A company created by mapping and instant message pioneer Perry Evans is set to make a deal that highlights the importance of commercial real estate to the Internet search industry.
Evan's local search provider, Denver-based Local Matters, Inc. is in the final stages of buying some, or all, of a company with access to extensive listings of commercial real estate for sale, according to a source familiar with the deal.
The acquisition, expected to be announced sometime next week, follows the recent disclosure of talks between Google Inc., the world's most popular search engine, and Bethesda, Maryland-based CoStar Group, one of the largest U.S. providers of commercial real estate market information.
In both cases, the search companies plan to incorporate the realty information into their own results, a play for more of the $1 billion annually spent overall on real estate listings and other classified advertisements.
It's a "no brainer," writes Gary Price, editor of searchenginewatch.com, that search engines are meshing real estate listings into their local shopping features, which are meant to connect people to nearby retailers and service providers.
A CoStar executive told the San Jose Mercury News its at work to add its listings to Google's mapping feature Google Earth, among other possible new Google features. A CoStar spokesman didn't have an immediate comment. A Google representative didn't immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.