Ask.com gives up on search, surrenders to Google

Ask.com is calling it quits in the search business, admitting that Google was too big to challenge.

Ask.com, a search engine that tried for years to get Web surfers to conduct their searches by asking a question, is giving up on its core business. Company executives told Bloomberg that it is cutting 130 engineering jobs and ceasing its work on algorithmic search technology.

Five years ago, media mogul Barry Diller bought Ask.com for $1.85 billion, thinking that it could innovate itself enough to become a bigger competitor against Google. But in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg, Diller said: “We’ve realized in the last few years you can’t compete head on with Google”

The engineering operations will be consolidated at the company's headquarters in Oakland, Calif. and will focus on developing an online Q&A service.