Sep 11, 2012
Billionaire Barry Diller, a San Francisco, California native and Hollywood entertainment industry heavyweight, has wrapped up negotiations to finalize the purchase of About.com and its affiliated web properties.
Barry Diller's company also owns the California-based website Ask.com, which many average Internet users already get confused with Answers.com and About.com.
"This sale will allow the Times Company to focus on the development and growth of our core brands," declared The New York Times Company CEO Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
The Times spent over $400 million to purchase the About Group seven years ago. Recently, the seven year itch came into play and frustration reached a crescendo.
Changes in Google's search algorithm had pushed About.com's web pages further and further down in search rankings, resulting in less page views and less clicks on ads, thus fewer advertising dollars.
Diller believes he can do the same with the About Group web properties, including the About.com website.
Even though revenue was 8.7 percent lower last quarter, there are other offers which will most likely not create a scenario other than About.com being sold to Barry Diller.
Peter Horan is the current head of rival website Answers.com, but he used to be the head of About.com, so he had offered $270 million for his old website.
In bidding $300 million for About.com and far exceeding Peter Horan's offer, Barry Diller showed his seriousness about IAC/InterActiveCorp buying the About Group.