Internet giant paid £37.7m for firm despite £262,000 loss for year to January 2011


Google-owned BeatThatQuote shrank its losses to £262,000 last year, compared with a £2m deficit in 2010.

Latest accounts, for the year ending January 2011, reveal that founder John Paleomylites offered the business a £2m credit facility, of which £500,000 was drawn down.
Despite a £1.7m shareholders’ deficit, Google paid £37.7m for the aggregator in March last year. Paleomylites scooped a windfall from the deal, as he owned 90% of the shares.

Google would have been encouraged by a rise in turnover to £13.7m (2011) from £8.4m (2010).

Although Google has refused to comment on the deal, it is understood to have bought the business as an experiment into how best to penetrate the price comparison market.

Last month, Argos took down its BeatThatQuote-powered price comparison site, saying it wanted to ensure it met latest FSA guidance.

The guidance was released in October to the whole of the aggregator market with the aim of preventing mis-selling to customers.

We say …

● Google isn’t yet using BeatThatQuote as a battering ram to grab UK market share from the big four price comparison sites: Confused, Comparethemarket, Moneysupermarket and Gocompare.

● The internet giant will have to be wary of potential accusations that it is promoting BeatThatQuote on its search engines ahead of competitors’ sites.