IAC acquires About.com from New York Times Company

27 Aug, 2012

Media mogul Barry Diller's IAC said on Sunday that its Ask.com unit has acquired information website About.com from the New York Times Company for $300 million in cash.

IAC's bid, which Reuters had flagged earlier, came in above a $270 million offer from Answers.com that the Times Co had preliminarily accepted.

"The About.com acquisition is completely in line with IAC's M&A strategy of acquiring, at disciplined valuations, companies that are complementary and synergistic with both our existing businesses and our areas of expertise," IAC CEO Greg Blatt said in a press release.

Times Co has been selling non-core businesses in recent years in an effort to focus its resources around its flagship newspaper and accompanying website.

Times Co bought About.com, a network of articles written about specialty topics ranging from personal finance to pets, in 2005 for $410 million. About.com makes its money by selling advertising against its content.

But About.com took a big hit after Google Inc overhauled its search algorithm in an effort to return high-quality results. Times Co wrote down the value of About.com by $195 million last month.

In December, Times Co also agreed to sell 16 regional newspapers in a deal valued at roughly $145 million.