Ask beats Answers with $300M bid for About.com

Aug 27, 2012

(AP)—The New York Times Co. is selling its troubled online information service, About.com, to the parent company of Ask.com for $300 million in cash.

That offer trumped a $270 million bid from Answers.com that was reported three weeks ago.

The Times and IAC/InterActiveCorp announced the deal late Sunday. IAC, which also operates the dating site Match.com, is controlled by media mogul Barry Diller.

About provides information on a wide variety of topics and also operates ConsumerSearch.com and CalorieCount.com. Content is written by paid experts known as guides. Ask is a search engine that has tried to set itself apart from competitors by focusing on finding answers to search requests posed in the form of a question. Ask still ranks far below Google and Microsoft's Bing in terms of use.

IAC said Ask and About will continue to operate as separate sites and will complement each other. The Ask search engine can draw on content from About in answering those search queries, and Ask can boost traffic to About by directing more users there.

The Times purchased About in 2005 for some $410 million. About has suffered in the past year because a change in the way Google handles search results made About content harder to find.

In the April-June quarter, the Times took a $126 million after-tax charge against earnings to reflect the declining value of the About business.

In that quarter, revenue from About fell 9 percent from a year ago to $25.4 million. Its adjusted operating profit fell 30 percent to $10.2 million.

Although the Times had been upbeat over About's prospects, Times Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. said the sale allows the company to focus on its core brands, which include such newspapers as The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune and The Boston Globe.

Times' stock fell 3 cents to $9.20 in midday trading Monday. The shares are close to the 52-week high of $9.57 hit last week.

Shares of IAC, also based in New York, rose 55 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $52.05. They hit a 52-week high of $54.20 a month ago.

Explore further: Cheaper wireless plans cut into AT&T 2Q profit

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

IAC reports 3Q profit but ad revenue still slips

Oct 27, 2009

(AP) -- IAC/InterActiveCorp, which runs Match.com, Ask.com and other Web sites, said Tuesday that asset sales helped it profit in the third quarter while advertising revenue continued to slump.

Liberty Media gives up stake in Diller's IAC

Dec 02, 2010

(AP) -- Barry Diller and John Malone, two media moguls whose partnerships over the past 17 years have been rocky at times, are cutting more of their business ties as Malone's Liberty Media sheds its voting stake in Diller's ...

Online ad improvement seen in IAC's 4Q loss

Feb 09, 2010

(AP) -- Internet company IAC/InterActiveCorp lost $1 billion in the fourth quarter because it wrote down the value of its search business, but the results beat expectations and offered the latest indication that the online ...

IAC 3Q revenue up, profit down on year-ago boost

Oct 27, 2010

(AP) -- IAC/InterActiveCorp, the Internet company run by billionaire Barry Diller, saw a big jump in revenue in the latest quarter because of improvements in online advertising and an expansion in the number of people looking ...

IAC has 2Q profit; revenue falls in weak ad market

Jul 29, 2009

(AP) -- IAC/InterActiveCorp, the company behind such Internet properties as Match.com, Ask and Citysearch, posted a second-quarter profit that fell short of analyst expectations Wednesday and indicated the online ad market ...

Recommended for you

Cheaper wireless plans cut into AT&T 2Q profit

5 hours ago

(AP)—AT&T posted lower net income for the latest quarter due to cheaper cellphone plans it introduced as a response to aggressive pricing from smaller competitor T-Mobile US.

Android grabs more tablet market share

7 hours ago

Global sales of tablet computers edged higher in the second quarter, in the slowest growth since 2009, research firm Strategy Analytics said Wednesday.

Microsoft CEO sees 'bold' plan as 4Q tops Street

19 hours ago

(AP)—Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella painted an upbeat vision of the future Tuesday, saying that the next version of Windows will be unified across screens of all sizes and that two money-losing units—Nokia ...

Apple's fiscal 3Q earnings top analyst forecasts

Jul 22, 2014

Apple's growth prospects are looking brighter as anticipation builds for the upcoming release of the next iPhone, a model that is expected to cater to consumers yearning for a bigger screen.

User comments : 0