About.com has finally found a buyer in InterActiveCorp. IAC is owned by Barry Diller and a deal has recently been agreed upon between his company and the NY Times, which owned About. The deal will be closed within the next few weeks.
The NY Times is expected to hand over About.com to InterActCorp for a cash amount of $300 million. This is $90 million less than what the Times paid for the website when it acquired it in 2005.
It is expected that there will be an official announcement made about the acquisition shortly.
Aside from IAC, other companies made bids. Demand Media, which has been struggling in its own right since last year and Answers.com were interested in purchasing About.com. The Diller owned company should find About to be a perfect fit into its fold as the reference content site has approximately 100 million unique visitors per month. IAC already owns content website The Writers Network and subsites related to it.
The About Group is kept going strong as it relies on freelance writers who produce expert knowledge on various topics, from technology gadgets to home improvement to finance and many more. In the last few years, it has had trouble in drawing traffic and relies greatly on advertising. InterActiveCorp has improved other similar websites such as Ask.com that are frequently searched online to up to 46 percent in recent days. About should see no difference as it is believed the acquisition will make it more profitable.
As the About Group has seen a decline in traffic since being purchased by the NY Times, it seems that a partnership with InterActiveCorp can only improve its chances in online searches. It seems to be a good fit with the other properties owned by the Diller company, which may be able to pool its collective resources to reduce certain costs on the website. At the same time, About can prove to be a useful tool for advertising that will nicely fit into the network of sites already owned by InterActiveCorp.
The success of the purchase will be determined over time. The About Group also boasts ConsumerSearch.com and CalorieCount.com.