E.W Scripps discusses comparison shopping (SSP, SHOP)

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 |  Includes: EBAY, SHOP-OLD
by: David Jackson

After E.W Scripps' (ticker: SSP) announcement of its intention to purchase comparison shopping company Shopzilla (formerly Bizrate), CEO Ken Lowe and CFO Joe NeCastro hosted a conference call with analysts. Interesting reading, given eBay's (ticker: EBAY) prior announcement to acquire competitor Shopping.com (ticker: SHOP). Extracts:

Shopzilla is just that kind of business, a market-making Internet business, that efficiently brings consumers and merchants together literally right at the point of purchase. It's precisely the kind of interactive media business that we've been searching for; an intermediary, if you will, that edits, organizes and provides useful information, but at the same time taking the consumer much closer to the transaction than does traditional media… What's better, Shopzilla is a fundamentally strong business and one of the Internet's fastest growing marketplaces.

It's not usually a capital intensive business… however, we would really see more of some international opportunities. And… we have been focusing more on our overall company intention in that area anyway…

...they do a lot of business in home and garden… Soft goods is one of their areas of concentration… so we believe there is a natural connection there.

…home and garden is their number one category.

We've been aggressively moving on to the Internet since 1995 in a lot of ways. We built some pretty powerful brands… with HGTV.com and foodnetworktv.com. We just have been very careful and very deliberate... I can't tell you how many companies we have looked at…

(Quotes are from the CCBN StreetEvents transcript.)