It appears Google Compare’s grand experiment in online comparison shopping for auto insurance is dead – for now at least. Two of its major partners were told today that Google Compare is shutting down its online shopping comparison undertaking. A Google spokesman couldn’t be immediately reached for comment. An official announcement from Google is expected to be made on Tuesday.

“It was a bit shocking today to hear that they are exiting,” Compare.com CEO Andrew Rose told Insurance Journal.

Rose said he was told it was a global exit, and that Google Compare isn’t just exiting the insurance business but also credit cards, banking products, the mortgage products in the U.S. and the U.K.

Rose said the U.K. Compare operations were also informed of Google’s exit, which he said is perplexing because online comparison shopping is strong in the U.K.

“It’s just interesting to see them throwing in the towel,” he said.

Keith Moore, CEO and president of CoverHound.com – one of Google’s initial platform partners when it launched Google Compare – says Google’s plan is to “go dark” to retool all of its consumer product sites and improve the “customer experience.”

 

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