Answers.com To Buy About.com For $270 Million
Media sites were quite big earners a few years ago, so when the New York Times shelled out $410 million to buy About.com, many felt it was a solid purchase.
These days however, media sites are heavily reliant on search engines (especially Google) and the constant algorithm updates can and does wreak havoc. Things have slowed so badly for About.com that the Times took a $195 million goodwill write-down on the asset.
The Times seems to be ready also to unload About.com and industry sources are reporting an impending deal between The New York Times and Answers.com. The deal would see the latter buying About.com for around $270 million and although nothing official has been released, the talk is that the sale is imminent.
Of course, $270 million from a $410 million purchase is not quite anything that the Times wanted or expected, but it is clear that About.com is under-performing. Many feel that although the Times is a media publisher, it was never equipped to handle online media publishing.
Answers.com on the other hand is built from the ground up on the online media publishing model and so many feel that it will do a better job of managing and growing About.com. Regardless of what happens, About.com I am sure will continue to be a hub for free information.