About.com Grabs Net Deal Spotlight
Mergers-and-acquisition activity on the Internet is casting a spotlight on one of the Net's largest forgotten online properties: About.com.
The array of content sites, which owner Primedia (PRM) is reportedly in the process of selling, is one of the most popular sites on the Internet, judging from the number of U.S. users who go to About.com at least once a month.
With online advertising growing rapidly after a turn-of-the-century collapse, media companies are trying to increase their exposure to Internet advertising by acquiring online properties. Dow Jones (DJ), for example, recently bought MarketWatch, and The Washington Post (WPO) went after Microsoft's (MSFT) Slate.
There's no question that the advertisers are back. Bellwether Yahoo! (YHOO) reported gross revenue of $1.1 billion for the fourth quarter, up from $664 million one year earlier.With trends like that, it's no surprise that companies reportedly kicking the tires of About.com, according to The New York Times, include New York Times (NYT) itself, Yahoo!, Google (GOOG), Time Warner (TWX) and Ask Jeeves (ASKJ). A Primedia spokesman declined to comment. About.com, launched in 1997 as The Mining Company, was envisioned as a vehicle for inexpensively building up targeted content on the Internet, against which advertising could be sold on a relatively inexpensive, decentralized basis. Subject matter of interest to Internet users was assembled and updated by a network of experts -- independent contractors who published their work under the unifying artistic direction, editorial supervision and Internet address of About.com. Nowadays, About.com comprises hundreds of subsites devoted to special interests ranging from attention deficit disorder to zoology. In October 2000, Primedia announced the purchase of About.com in a deal that echoed some of the justifications for the announcement earlier that year of the merger of Time Warner and America Online. In each case, a major motivation for the transaction was to marry the content of a traditional media company -- Primedia these days publishes roughly 120 specialty magazines -- with online distribution.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV