It's official: Ask launched its own bidding engine/network. But the company still wants to preserve its Google relationship:
"Ask Jeeves plans to continue to display ads from Google's network but will feature them below the listings generated from its own auction-based ads. Since users generally click on the links displayed higher on the page, that hierarchy could mean less revenue for Google — a dynamic that figures to cause tensions."
John Battelle speculates that LookSmart is lending its platform/bidding engine to Ask.