Barry Diller’s IAC group has agreed to acquire About.com from the New York Times for $300 million in cash, expanding Diller’s Internet search muscle and easing the Times out of its last non-publishing asset.
About.com will be part of IAC’s Ask.com business, creating a massive reference library. IAC chief exec Greg Blatt called About.com “complementary and synergistic with both our existing businesses and our areas of expertise” and said it will be more profitable teamed up with Ask.com.
“We are extremely excited to bring these two businesses together,” Blatt said. “About.com’s content will differentiate and greatly increase the authority of Ask.com’s offerings, while Ask’s expertise in search technology and user experience will improve the discoverability of existing content on About.com.”
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About has nearly 1,000 topic sites, more than 3 million unique articles and nearly 100 million unique monthly users worldwide.
Ask.com has more than 100 million users globally and is one of the leading search and Q&A platforms on the Internet.
About’s CEO Darline Jean will report to Ask.com CEO Doug Leeds.
IAC said the division has recorded double-digit growth for the last two years, consistently outperforming expectations and driving the company’s total revenue and profits.