The Hollywood mogul who also owns Expedia and Ticketmaster has agreed an all-share buyout of Ask Jeeves. The deal, which will see Mr Barry Diller take control of the company has cost £974million (US$1.85billion) and is still subject to approval in the US.

"Ask Jeeves was founded almost 10 years ago based on the idea that simple text search results alone are not sufficient or satisfying -- but, rather, that consumers want answers to questions -- and questions posed in natural language and answered with spot-on accuracy were especially desired and appealing," Diller said.

The idea seems to be to datapool customers from the travel agency with the search engine and steer off any attempts from MSN or Google to touch on this area.

Ask Jeeves currently sits around 7th in the world search engine rankings and has about 42 million unique visitors a month. Last month Ask Jeeves itself acquired