A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Friday, December 09, 2005

ITV takes a big punt 

£175m for Friends Reunited? From a company formed from the ashes created by ITV digital this looks risky. When you compare the amount to the $580m paid by Rupert Murdoch for Intermix, owners of MySpace.com, the deal does look poor value. Initially Charles Allen was reported as saying that the premium paid reflected the fact that Friends Reunited "know how to manage complex databases". Well I know a few people who can do that, but I don't think they'll be seeing a windfall.

In a more refelctive interview in the Telegraph, however, Allen revealed that the market that he's going after is classified advertising. He still maintained that the systems he'll inherit will be core to an integrated offering from ITV.

One to watch and certainly a good deal for Michael Murphy who used to run FT.com and failed in his bid to buy FT Business publications before being taken on by Steve and Julie Pankhurst.
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