IAC announced that its Ask.com property has agreed to acquire The About Group from The New York Times for $300 million. The About Group, of course, is the company behind About.com. The deal was signed on Sunday.
“The About.com acquisition is completely in line with IAC’s M&A strategy of acquiring, at disciplined valuations, companies that are complementary and synergistic with both our existing businesses and our areas of expertise,” said IAC CEO Greg Blatt. “We are extremely excited to bring these two businesses together; 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.”
“The complementary nature of these two businesses will provide significant synergies going forward, and thus we expect that About.com will generate more profit as a part of Ask.com and IAC than it has been able to over the last few years,” added Blatt.
This could also be another way for Ask to get more content in front of Google users, as About.com content is often returned on the first page of results.
The About Group will join IAC’s Search And Applications reporting segment, where it will reside with Ask.com, Dictionary.com, Mindspark, Pronto and nRelate, which it acquired last month.
“This is a rare merger with true bilateral synergies,” said Joey Levin, CEO of IAC Search & Applications. “On the one hand, the Ask.com search and content business has generated exceptional revenue and profit growth by marketing and distributing a quality consumer search and Q&A experience, and About provides Ask with a tremendous amount of quality content to further enhance that experience and the credibility of the Ask brand.”
“On the other hand, About.com has created, and today continues to grow, a library of content which consumers love across a vast array of categories, and we can now market and distribute that content and the About brand through Ask and significantly increase traffic and profitability at About,” added Levin.
About CEO Darline Jean will report to Ask.com CEO Doug Leeds.