Tuesday, 8 May 2007

MySpace to buy Photobucket for $250 Million!

Social networking website MySpace Inc. is buying top internet photo-sharing service Photobucket.com LLC for $250 million US in cash, according to reports citing "reliable" sources close to the deal Monday.

The digital photo site has been in talks with News Corp.-owned MySpace since the companies ended a dispute in April, according to independent reports by technology news services. Photobucket says it has 41 million registered users and grows by 80,000 members a day.

It had 17.9 million unique monthly visitors in March, according to internet ratings service ComScore Inc., as compared to MySpace's 66.3 million unique monthly visitors in March, according to ComScore.

In April, MySpace stopped blocking Photobucket users' photo slideshows, videos and "remixes" — user-created videos that feature content supplied by a third party such as a movie studio or recording label — from appearing on its members pages, ending their dispute.

MySpace said the slideshows, which used imagery from the new Spider-Man 3 movie, constituted ads that violated its user policy.

Following the dispute, the companies agreed to improve their communication and implement procedures to avoid a similar conflict from arising again.

Reports that MySpace and Photobucket were merging first surfaced on Monday on the Silicon Valley tip site ValleyWag.

By the evening, at least three established technology news services — CNet, PaidContent and TechCrunch — separately reported that they had independently confirmed the merger with sources close to the deal, sources who had requested anonymity.

Photobucket, founded in 2003, had been seeking a buyer since March, when they hired investment bank Lehman Brothers Inc.

According to internet traffic rankings service Hitwise, Photobucket accounted for 73 per cent of MySpace's photo-related traffic in March, and Photobucket received 57 per cent of its traffic from MySpace.

Spokespeople for MySpace and Photobucket could not be immediately reached for comment.

Source: CBC.ca

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