John Battelle has some interesting speculation about the role of Jeeves in IAC post acquisition. In particular, he speculates about a potential merger of search and TV. I agree there are going to be some interesting things happening with TV and the Internet (not limited to search).
Comcast is going to make some interesting moves in the Local Search space. And the telcos are trialing IPTV , while search engines are gearing up video search and streaming full-length TV shows. (We've got a panel on all this stuff at Drilling Down on Local in April.)
Battelle also speculates that AOL or MSN might now bid for Jeeves (don't think that's going to happen). But there will likely be other deals that are prompted by this recent wave (Bloglines, Flickr, Jeeves).
In an environment where the paid search players/ad networks include Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL (partly Google) and now, potentially, IAC/Ask, you have to wonder whether there will be a move to consolidate those networks/engines that are not in the top tier. There isn't room in the market for many more than this (except to serve niches).
There may be an analogy here to the movie industry, which used to have many independent film companies that were eventually almost all gobbled up by the major studios.
Niche plays and selected vertical search sites can continue to exist in a consolidated search world. However, there will be pressure to merge or do deals to keep up with product offerings, and to mainstain competitive scale and reach.