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After buying the About Group in 2005 for $410M, NYT takes a loss now over free-falling revenue later
Despite the rumors that Answers.com would be the next owner of About.com, the New York Times announced this weekend that it sold the group of sites to Barry Diller’s IAC conglomerate for $300 million.
The NYT stated that the all cash deal should close within the next few weeks and the money will be spend on “general corporate" expenditures. The About Group was purchased by the NYT for $410 million in 2005 and includes to-do site About.com, CalorieCount.com, and ConsumerSearch.com.
Barry Diller is the chairman and senior executive of IAC/InterActiveCorp and was one of the media moguls responsible for the creation of Fox Broadcasting Company and USA Broadcasting.
With an array of instructional articles covering a wide swath of topics, About.com has been successful in capturing a fair amount of search engine traffic, which, in turn has helped it collect good ad revenues.
Recent changes to the Google search algorithm, however, have taken its toll and the NYT was looking to clear up some slow movers on the balance sheet.
IAC already holds a number of popular Web properties like Match.com, Vimeo, and Ask.com.
“About.com has been a strong contributor to our company since its acquisition in 2005,” Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., chairman of The New York Times Company, said in a statement. “About’s early expertise in search engine optimization, expert content and revenues from cost-per-click and display advertising made it a valuable component of our portfolio for the past seven years. This sale will allow the Times Company to focus on the development and growth of our core brands locally, nationally and on a global scale.”
The Times announced on August 8 that it was in discussions about selling its About Group after reporting that the group's revenue for the most recent quarter was down 8.7% to $25.4 million.
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