Source: NYTimes Co. to sell About.com to Answers.com for $270 million
(AP) The New York Times Co. has agreed to sell its troubled online information service, About.com, to rival Answers.com for $270 million, or two-thirds what the Times paid for it in 2005, according to a person familiar with the matter.
About.com provides information on a wide variety of topics and also operates ConsumerSearch.com and Calorie-Count.com. Content is written by paid experts known as guides. Answers.com, by contrast, relies on users to answer questions.
The Times purchased About.com for roughly $410 million. It has suffered in the past year because of a change in the way Google handles search results. That change made About.com content harder to find...
...In the April-June quarter, the Times took a $126 million after-tax charge against earnings to reflect the declining value of the About.com business. That pushed the Times to an overall loss.
In that quarter, revenue from About.com fell 9 percent from a year ago to $25.4 million. Its adjusted operating profit fell 30 percent to $10.2 million. In 2011, revenue fell 19 percent to $111 million