Rumor: Diller's IACI Bids for NYT's About.com

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A circulating rumor picked by by Reuters and Bloomberg claims that Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI) has bid $300 million for About.com, a search property owned by The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT). It was reported a week ago that the firm which owns Answer.com had offered $270 million for About.com. The offer lacked funding.

It would be hard to find a better home for About.com than IACI. It already owns search property Ask.com, which gathers a relatively small portion of U.S. online searches. About.com has the potential to give Diller's search operations additional reach. IACI also has a large back-office and corporate staff which would likely allow About.com expenses to be cut.

The current challenge with About.com is that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) cut the site's page rank two years ago because of the search sites aggregation methods. That has caused a sharp slide in revenue and operating profit.  That problem likely cannot be reversed.

Douglas A. McIntyre


Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Mergers & Acquisitions Tagged: featured, GOOG, IACI, NYT
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