Ask.Com Back To Basics

Officials with have reportedly decided to abandon a plan to make the website a search engine competitor to Google and return to the question-and-answer service it started out as in 1996.

The decision is a blow to Barry Diller and the website’s parent company, IAC/InterActiveCorp, which paid $1.85 billion for in 2005 and sunk more cash into building up the site to compete with Google, according to the New York Times. That cash infusion didn’t increase the website’s market share.

The company, originally named AskJeeves, will reportedly lay off more than 100 employees, close offices in New Jersey and China, and consolidate remaining personnel to the website’s headquarters in Oakland, Calif., the paper said.

“This is the best use of our scarce resources,” Doug Leeds, president, told the Times. “There is a big untapped business here.”