IAC acquires About.com from New York Times Company

Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:50pm EDT

The offices of IAC, an internet company with more than 50 brands serving consumer audiences is pictured in West Hollywood, California July 27, 2011. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

The offices of IAC, an internet company with more than 50 brands serving consumer audiences is pictured in West Hollywood, California July 27, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

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(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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