August 27, 2012 / 1:52 AM / 5 years ago

IAC acquires About.com from New York Times Company

(Reuters) - Media mogul Barry Diller’s IAC IACI.O said on Sunday that its Ask.com unit has acquired information website About.com from the New York Times Company (NYT.N) for $300 million in cash.

IAC’s bid, which Reuters had flagged earlier, came in above a $270 million offer from Answers.com that the Times Co had preliminarily accepted.

“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,” IAC CEO Greg Blatt said in a press release.

Times Co has been selling non-core businesses in recent years in an effort to focus its resources around its flagship newspaper and accompanying website.

Times Co bought About.com, a network of articles written about specialty topics ranging from personal finance to pets, in 2005 for $410 million. About.com makes its money by selling advertising against its content.

    But About.com took a big hit after Google Inc (GOOG.O) overhauled its search algorithm in an effort to return high-quality results. Times Co wrote down the value of About.com by $195 million last month.

    In December, Times Co also agreed to sell 16 regional newspapers in a deal valued at roughly $145 million.

    Reporting by Olivia Oran; Editing by Chris Gallagher

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