Qihoo to reportedly acquire Sogou for $1.4B

Chinese software company said to be in final discussions to purchase Sohu's search engine, amid rumors over the last few months that large companies have been courting the latter for an acquisition.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

Qihoo has reportedly reached a deal to fully acuqire Sohu's Sogou search engine for an estimated US$1.4 billion.

Both companies will make the announcement soon, a source familiar with the matter told DoNews on Saturday.

Qihoo CEO Zhou Hongyi also headed to the U.S. recently to hold "final negotiations"  with Sohu's CFO Carol Yu but Sogou's CEO Wang Xiaochuan was not involved in the talks, the source said. 

Rumors that Sogou has been courted by large Chinese technology companies Baidu, Tencent and Qihoo had been flying for several months. Wang however, had refuted rumors that Sogou will be acquired by Qihoo in a microblog post in May, a separate report by Want China Times reported.

If the deal goes through, it will combine China's second and third largest search engines, against market leader Baidu. Sohu had purchased Sogou from Alibaba in July last year, while Qihoo replaced Google search with its own in August 2012.

Qihoo had said in February this year it was aiming to grab 20 percent of China's online search market share by the end of this year, 30 percent in 2014, and 40 percent by 2015, focusing on not publishing medical-related ads, and ensuring it does not interfere with search results.

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