The New York Times had apparently been trying to offload About.com and related properties for quite some time, and it seems to have done exactly that today. It has sold off About.com to IAC, the company which also owns Ask.com, Match.com, and Vimeo.
The sale price is rumored to be $300 million, which is significantly lower than the $410 million NYT paid for it in 2005. Bundled with About.com in the deal were other properties like CalorieCount.com and ConsumerSearch.com.
Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., Chairman, The New York Times Company, said:
“About.com has been a strong contributor to our company since its acquisition in 2005. About’s early expertise in search engine optimization, expert content and revenues from cost-per-click and display advertising made it a valuable component of our portfolio for the past seven years. This sale will allow the Times Company to focus on the development and growth of our core brands locally, nationally and on a global scale.”
This deal should be good for both NYT and IAC, as NYT can now focus on its core business, while IAC has a better shot at turning About.com around. It also gives a good cash infusion to NYT, which could help it out in these trying times.