Market America Acquires Bill Gates-Backed Shopping Site

Internet marketing and product brokerage company Market America has acquired, an online comparison shopping engine provider. Financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed. and will continue to operate as separate websites through a transition period, and the latter’s facilities in Monterey and Pasadena, CA and London, UK will continue without disruption. The combined entity will have in excess of 650 employees.

Here’s how the acquisition, which expected to be completed by year-end 2010, gets pitched:

The acquisition will combine SHOP.COM’s strength in technology and merchandising, providing customers with the latest, high-tech online shopping, with Market America’s high-touch, personal shopping experience, including the industry’s only unlimited cash back program.

It will expand the current people-powered, relationship-based shopping portal into a content rich destination that informs, entertains and guides customers in their shopping experience.

Ken Goldstein, Chairman & CEO of and former managing director of Disney Online, will depart his current role and become a strategic advisor to Market America.

I haven’t been able to retrieve how much venture capital has raised since its inception in the late nineties, but its investor roster includes Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates,, Yahoo and Oak Investment Partners.