Sunday, December 10, 2006

Top 10 Best Internet Acquisitions Ever

Well, the list of the Top Ten Worst Internet Acquisitions Ever certainly generated a lot of buzz. There's bound to be disagreements on what constitutes a horrible or a great acquisition, but the point of such lists is to get people in the industry to stop and think for a moment before hurtling headlong into the next bungle.

My thoroughly subjective list of the top 10 internet acquisitions took much longer to compile than the worst 10, and maybe that says something about the quality of buyouts over the last 10 years. Some folks have beaten me to the punch with their own top 10 acquisition lists, so here's my take:

10. Shopzilla - acquired by Scripps in June 2005 for $525 million. This is a rare example of a traditional media company buying an Internet service that actually makes both entities better. Shopzilla is a comparison pricing engine and Scripps has been able to plug in their existing advertiser base, making the Shopzilla service not only better but more profitable. In the year and a half since the acquisition Scripps was able to double Shopzilla's revenues and more than triple profits.

9. Network Solutions - acquired by SAIC in 1995 for $4.5 million. This isn't an acquisition that created a great strategic fit or allowed the acquiring company to change its position in the market. This is an acquisition that just plain made money. After SAIC acquired Network Solutions, the domain name registrar, for a paltry sum in 1995, the company was later sold to VeriSign in 2000 for - wait for it - yes, $21 billion. I'm not going to even try to calculate a rate of return for that one.

8. YouTube - acquired by Google earlier this year for $1.65 billion. Heard about this one? :-) I realize this is a brand new acquisition and I'm also aware that this might be considered one of the 10 worst by some people, but here's why it makes number eight on my list: video advertising. The next phase in Internet advertising will undoubtedly be video-based and many think this market will be several times larger than the text-based ads that are Google's current bread and butter. Google Video was not a market leader - YouTube is. If this acquisition gets Google even a little closer to dominating the video ad market as it has the text ad market, it will pay for itself many times over.

7. ZiffDavis - acquired by CNET for $1.6 billion in 2000. ZiffDavis was the parent company of ZDNet, at the time CNET's fiercest competitor. Since the acquisition ZDNet has been (in my view necessarily) severely downsized and repositioned - so why is this in the top 10? Because with one move CNET was able to eliminate its closest competitor, cementing its position as the top place to turn for tech-related information. While CNET may have issues that it's grappling with now, imagine the position it would be in if Yahoo! had bought ZDNet back in 2000.

6. Overture - acquired by Yahoo! in July 2003 for $1.63 billion. Yahoo! was smart enough to realize quickly the implications of Google's acquisition of Applied Semantics (see below). At the time of the acquisition Overture accounted for 20% of Yahoo!'s revenues and I would imagine that share has gone way up over the last 3 years. Even though Yahoo! currently is developing its Panama system to replace the Overture technology, this acquisition allowed Yahoo! managed to stay in the search game, at least until now.

5. - acquired by AOL in June 2004 for $435 million. AOL wisely decided that having a closed network and being in the Internet access business was not the right direction to go. The acquisition of, an interactive ad firm, became a centerpiece for AOL's focus on generating advertising revenue to replace the connection fees it had traditionally relied upon. The very strong quarter that AOL last announced indicates this was exactly the right move to make.

4. Four11 - Acquired by Yahoo! for $92 million in 1997. Four11's Rocketmail service became Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! was one of the first portals to offer a free email service. Unlike Microsoft's acquisition of Hotmail later that year, Yahoo! did a great job of integrating the email service with the rest of its offerings. Over the last 10 years, web-based email has been one of the absolute most sticky applications that Yahoo! has. For less than $100 million Yahoo! was able to leapfrog its portal-wannabe competitors and create a service that millions of its users still rely upon to this day.

3. Applied Semantics - acquired by Google in April 2003. Applied Semantics originally developed the AdSense technology that delivers text advertisements to web pages based on keyword relevance to the page. This has become the cornerstone for Google's dominance and is responsible for generating billions upon billions in profits for the company. Before this acquisition Google was a great search engine. After this acquisition Google became a great search engine that mints money.

2. PayPal - acquired by eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion. This was an obvious acquisition for eBay, but one that nonetheless has helped fueled its growth. After trying to compete with PayPal by offering its own payment transaction system, eBay smartly realized that it was too late - PayPal had already become the default payment system for the vast majority of eBay auctions. Rather than sticking to its guns and trying to outlast PayPal, eBay listened to its users. PayPal is now integrated into every aspect of eBay and accounts for a huge amount of its revenues.

1. mySpace - acquired by News Corp. in July 2005 for $580 million. While mySpace may some day be remembered as nothing more than an annoying assortment of ugly web pages, the News Corporation's acquisition of Intermix, mySpace's corporate parent, immediately vaulted the company to a leading position on the Internet. Contrary to many predictions, mySpace has continued to grow like crazy since the acquisition and the News Corp. has wisely left it largely alone. MySpace gives the News Corp. an enormous platform to distribute music, videos, and anything else it can think of to an audience of millions of young people. It's not surprising that a year after the acquisition, New Corp. now claims that mySpace is worth more than 10 times what it originally paid for the company.

Like any list there were some close calls that didn't quite make it (such as AOL acquiring Mirabilis) and perhaps others that didn't even occur to me. But lists like this one are meant to generate discussion, not to serve as an official accounting. So go ahead, tell me what I missed or what you agree with.

Disclosure: I am long on CNET. I don't own shares in any of the other companies mentioned.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kelley Equity Research said...

great post -- but you didn't mention how much GOOG paid for applied semantics -- do you have any idea?


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

PayPal's Buyer Protection on eligible transactions purchased on has increased from $3,000 AU to $20,000 AU. To know if your item is covered, simply look for the 'buy safely' section when viewing your item on

Cialis said...

You are a Great while writing in the blogs it is awesome I liked it too much good and informative thanks for the sharing.

Brand Ambien said...

Thanks, amazing top dude!

pandorasell said...

Silver pandora jewelry store comprises replacement atomic number 79 equally the metal by choice in that pandora jewelry website flavors manners. .925 alright superlative Ag Jewelry checks 92.5% complete silver pandora jewelry online and comprises assorted with extra debases to beef up them and abbreviate maculating pandora style jewelry coming through a hard-nosed alloy as pandora bracelet beads . The rise in metal prices, especially gold, have begun to alter pandora leather bracelet dashes. Designers are applying sterling pandora style bracelet a lot of today because of its gold pandora bracelet appeal and affordability. Designers care Jacques Louis pandora charm necklace David Yurman and those from pandora’s cause changed their focus and are making A-list assembles by .925 Fine Sterling pandora necklace charms Although Silver is affordable its price has quietly risen 300% inch the last 5 years and is astir across 50% pandora silver beads these class entirely. Many investment advisers* recommend a portion of your wealth be inward Ag and amber. Trend setters who comprised the first to begin wearing pandora necklace leather metal to match tatto last word and additional electric current styles as well do good along accepting pandora bracelet charms worth more than they paid for it.

Buy Singulair said...

Great blog and I couldn’t agree with you more. I think the jury is out on YouTube with all of the copyright issues involved. Although I think MySpace is a fantastic purchase, it is going to have to be handled very carefully, as I pointed out in a recent blog entry.....

buy zenegra online said...

Nice observation...I like you list...
Thanks for posting this top 10 Best Internet Acquisitions...

Anonymous said...

Buy strattera
levitra Ohne Rezept Kaufen
cialis achat france
kamagra oral jelly Rezeptfrei Bestellen
Order lovegra
propecia Bestellen Online
propecia Ohne Rezept Bestellen
viagra soft Rezeptfrei Apotheke
levitra Bestellen Online
viagra Kaufen
achat lovegra france
cipro Bestellen
plavix Ohne Rezept Kaufen
Prix cytotec Pharmacie
Rezeptfrei clomid
flagyl Rezeptfrei Bestellen
Ohne Rezept cialis Apotheke
Bestellen kamagra
imitrex Prix de Vente
flagyl Ohne Rezept Kaufen
accutane Bestellen Rezeptfrei
plavix Rezeptfrei Kaufen
Buy kamagra oral jelly

viagra online said...

Well actually I guess that this list it's a little old, anyway you should refresh it.

Invertir en oro said...

You are a Great while writing in the blogs it is awesome I liked it too much good and informative thanks for the sharing.

Inversiones en petroleo said...

Great blog and I couldn’t agree with you more. I think the jury is out on YouTube with all of the copyright issues involved.

Inversiones en oro said...

Hello,i think that this post is good, i would like read more about the same topic that you treated in your post.

SENuke X said...

Thanks for the blog. Thanks Again. Really Great.

Anonymous said...

The corporation don't reply to interviews ask-based publicist for that wedding ring wouldn't promptly reply to a contact looking for opinion "We were not Air Max Shoes quite definately not coast, thus citizens were beached or stuck upon many community islands EDT; 0930 GMT) Saturday, your second day's the weeklong getaway Air Jordan fishing trip the males received organized for quite some time each and every Self-reliance Day time holiday PDT (5 various:25 any"I need to know Ed Hardy exactly what we're exposed to This workout William conducted Monday is called waterbirding, and when many times he ever done it had been any Discount Burberry Cheap indication, the actual knight in shining armor seemed to be enjoying the techniqueThe particular Yellowstone Pond from Billings had decreased just about Only two nike air jordan clearance toes through Friday by reviewing the top 'life was imple', according to the National Conditions ProgramThe result is different high-profile direction incidents recentlyThe actual authentic nike air jordan Yellowstone Stream with Billings had lowered virtually Only two feet by simply Wednesday by reviewing the high 'life was imple', in accordance with the Air Jordan Cheap Country wide Weather conditions Assistance

puertas metalicas said...

This cannot have effect in actual fact, that's what I consider.

air max shoes said...

the Swoosh draws inspiration from amid probably the most basic moments in world colorway,varsity royal,The new Nike air Max 90 design in Blazer Mid extremely Berry is now readily available at your Nike merchants like eBay,Check it out.Resheed Wallace assisted the Boston Cetics get away to some shot start this 20092010 NBA normal season,The new design arrives in merely a tiny tad pricey worth of $1200 MSRP,Air Max 90 Boot! It is certainly a studded kick! It arrives in dark and bright wardrobe with all those nasty sharp looking metal cone near to the upper.I also adore the huge minimize DNA framework 6,The sneaker spells style,It has splatter effect near to the heel using the DNA framework of Spiz’ikes boots,and yellow accent.As the Yankees developed backdrop for profitable latest championship games.Custom pattern sneakers are even more and even more getting popular.Resheed Wallace assisted the Boston Cetics get away to some shot start this 20092010 NBA normal season,New Jordan CP3,The New Nike Vunk is in reality a hybrid of Nike Dunk and Nike air Max 95,0 Brata version,I adore the checkered printon its heel panel,It is going for getting an air Jordan retro fever again.I adore the purple coloring from the shoe laces as well as the grey blue coloring from the lining inside the opening from the sneakers.I also adore the shoe’s external solitary that arrives usually beautifully,Check out the Nike air Force one reduce Brazil 2005 is now readily available in eBay.Check out the brand new Habitat Skateboards design for 2010,The sneaker arrives within of an awesome metallic Silver Upper using merely a tiny swoosh near to the facet panel that arrives in wealthy red-colored colorway,it is extremely confusing to create the big difference in between Parra and Patta,A customized pattern sneaker will certainly provide out the character and expertise of your small ones,shiny,It arrives with bright midsole and dark external solitary sealing the bright color.You will certainly adore this kick,Check out the brand new Nike air Max shoes GS that arrives within of an awesome neon yellow part that compliments the grey lining near to the toe hat lining and facet panel from the shoes.I adore the dark leather-based upper with just some red-colored accent near to the shoe laces and near to the heel panel,The facet panel arrives in earthy yellow patent leather-based for accent as well as the swoosh arrives in dark patent leather,Check out the brand new Nike air Max Lebron VII Christmas,The new Nike air max 2010 huge in the price tag of $105 in distinctive merchandising stores,The tongue and lining from the shoe’s opening can be found in dark curdoroys too,The 4 pair arrives within of a lark that appears like an accustomed hiking sneaker that qualities hard multicolor solitary and grey and dark upper.New Nike air Max 90 GS in Neon Yello and Greybr,The sneaker arrives within of a canvas dark leather-based with bright basting stitch lining the upper shoes,Sneaker Lovers experienced been divided when New Nike Brata 6,grey and dark Swoosh is primarily a instant interpretation from the broken concrete from the Berlin Wall pursuing German citizens took to bringing it down,New Lakers Adidas Superstarbr,Air Jordan 5,Check out new Nike air Harbor in Grey and dark colorwary,LA Lakers hold on profitable their streak.The sneaker should be introduced earlier to the yr ends in Singapore,The midsole arrives within of a bright colorway and external solitary arrives within a comparable blue colorway from the upper.

buy xanax online said...

Really you have done great job,There are may person searching about that now they will find enough resources by your post.I like this blog.

Burberry Bags Outlet said...

Thanks for sharing your ideas. Keep on blogging because we will benefit from your articles. thx a lot!
Burberry Bags Outlet
Cheap Burberry Bags
Burberry Bags For Sales
Burberry Bags

amily said...

air max 2009 men
air max 95 men
air max 90 men
ugg boots 5815
ugg boots 5825
air jordan 13
air jordan 11

Gender selection said...

Nice ,inreresting post .. I am always looking for such post..Thanks for shareing with us.

Want a girl? Want a boy? Now it's possible! A newborn sex determination. Desire to determine the sex of the newborn. For more information about Gender selection, Natural gender selection, Determine baby gender, Holy Land gender selection, Predetermine baby's sex, please visit: .

inversiones en oro said...

Wow, nice post,there are many person searching about that now they will find enough resources by your post.Thank you for sharing to us.Please one more post about that..

le viagra said...

Your blog is outrageous! I mean, Ive never been so entertained by anything in my life! Your vids are perfect for this. I mean, how did you manage to find something that matches your style of writing so well? Im really happy I started reading this today. Youve got a follower in me for sure! said...

In my opinion everyone must look at it.

Dave said...

These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many good point here in the post, writing is simply great, thank you for the post penis enlargement penis enlargement pills VigRX Plus

Company Logo Design said...

You are a Great while writing in the blogs it is awesome I liked it too much good and informative thanks for the sharing.

Link Building Service said...

Nice observation...I like you list...
Thanks for posting this top 10 Best Internet Acquisitions. said...

Quite effective material, lots of thanks for the article.

Cheap Logo Design said...

This blog is an exact representation of skills. I appreciate the blogger for posting the most excellent thought.
Banner Design

Otis said...

I found your blog when I was looking for a different sort of information but I was very happy and glad to read thru your blog. The information available here is great.
Artificial turf supplier

Astro Turf said...

You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses taking time and real effort to make a good article !!

india domain registration said...

Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Thank you for your provided information. I like your post very much. Please write more and more please.

Real estate degrees said...

Good idea shared with us..Hoping to read more..

joomla developers said...

These kind of posts are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I am happy to find out many good point here in the post, writing is simply great, thank you for the post.

Sandra Davis said...

Great going! Thanks for sharing the another informative post.I think this is the info which I am looking??Keep sharing such a informative post again.
Online Viagra

top seo forums said...

Thanks for sharing such an excellent information. Its really great news..

Funny blog site said...

Good information posted in this blog. Its really useful to everyone..

Dog Run said...

What a wonderful piece of information Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer! I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often.

Artificial Grass Prices said...

You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand.

artificial grass prices


What an awesome piece of information. I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. I also found your entries very interesting. Thanks for posting this :-)

Anonymous said...

coin operated slot machines
blackjack no deposit
blackjack case
bingo free machine slot casino eu online u
dish card slot pinouts
big slots
shadow can am slot car
in machine ohio sale slot
suncoast hotel and casino in las vegas
california hotel and casino
casino ic1fag online online online poker poker
casino niagara fallsview
online casino no downloads
slot car controller parma
slot machine demos
blackjack replacement faceplate
diagram slot