After nearly a week of speculation, it appears the New York Times Company has ended the bidding war for the sale of About.com with Barry Diller's IAC/InteractiveCorp beating out an initial bid by Answers.com. IAC will pay $300 million for the once-potent question-and-answer site, which is roughly $30 million more than Answers.com's bid.
New York Times Company chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. called the site "a valuable component of our portfolio for the past seven years" while IAC CEO Greg Blatt noted that About.com is "complementary and synergistic with both our existing businesses and our areas of expertise."
The sales means a $110 million hit for the Times (it acquired the About group in 2005 for $410 million) but is a necessary trimming of the fat as the company lost $88 million last quarter. Sulzberger addressed this in a prepared statement, noting that the sale allows the company to "focus on the development and growth of our core brands locally, nationally and on a global scale.”