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Amid a frenized and potentially boffo online shopping season (projected to reach $19.6b in the U.S.), U.K.-based GUS announced that it's buying California-based comparison shopping engine PriceGrabber. The online shopping site was No. 6 in terms of August U.S. traffic, according to comScore. The reported price was $485m (£274m).

Back when Shopzilla was acquired by E.W. Scripps in June, we speculated about whether PriceGrabber and/or NexTag would be next.

Because of the proven business model and increasing traffic and revenues to shopping engines, by early next year there probably won't be an "independent" left (review comparison site will go at some point too).

However, as I've recently written, the next wave in online shopping is offline inventory.

Why? See "E-Tail Reality Check."

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