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Friday, April 18, 2008 - Page updated at 06:08 AM

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Microsoft buys travel search site Farecast

Microsoft Corp. said Thursday it acquired travel search startup Farecast Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

The Seattle startup tries to predict whether air fares will rise or fall, helping travelers decide when to buy plane tickets for upcoming trips. Farecast's site also has a section that searches for hotel room rates, then tells Web surfers whether the price is a good deal, or no deal at all.

In a precursor to the buyout, the companies signed a deal in last year that made some of Farecast's technology available on Microsoft's own MSN travel site.

The acquisition, first reported by Seattle Post-Intelligencer, closed April 9. Microsoft spokeswoman Whitney Burk said Farecast's workers will become Microsoft employees, but would not give further details about how the startup and its technology will fit into Microsoft's existing organization.

Farecast, formerly known as Hamlet Inc., has raised more than $20 million in venture capital since 2004 from investors including Sutter Hill Ventures, Greylock Partners and Madrona Venture Group.

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On the Net:

http://www.farecast.com/

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