RealTime IT News

Ticketmaster Bids on Match.com

Following its unsuccessful attempt to merge with portal Lycos, Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch Inc. wasted no time in securing the acquisition of another Internet firm, Match.com, in a $50 million stock deal.

Ticketmaster-CitySearch Monday purchased the online matchmaking service, which is a division of Cendant Corp. Cendant said it agreed to sell Match.com for about $50 million in Ticketmaster shares. Cendant, which operates hotels, car rental services and real-estate companies, expects to realize a gain of about $25 million on the transaction. The deal is expected to close in the summer.

Match.com offers singles an environment to meet and get to know one another online. It currently boasts 1.8 million members, and derives revenues from subscriptions, advertising and commerce.

The acquisition is part of Ticketmaster's strategy to offer local information and personalized transactions. The company already provides local city guides, live event ticketing and local auctions online.

"We believe that online matching for friends or romantic partners is a natural fit with our city guide business and will allow us to continue to build our platform for helping people go out and get things done locally," said Charles Conn, CEO of Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch.

"Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch offers the information and resources our members need to move their meaningful online relationships into the off-line world," John Spottiswood, president of Match.com.

Last week, Ticketmaster and Lycos agreed to terminate their merger plans, following strong opposition from Lycos shareholders.