RealTime IT News

Internet.com Nabs EarthWeb's Content Business

Internet.com , the parent company of InternetNews.com, Tuesday revealed plans to expand its online presence via the purchase of the content business assets of EarthWeb Inc.

The acquisition includes 14 Web sites, 18 e-mail newsletters and the EarthWeb Web site -- all of which are focused on content for the Information Technology and Internet industries. Financial details for the transaction, which is expected to close today, were not disclosed.

The purchase of EarthWeb, a leading provider of career development resources to IT professionals, presents Internet.com with opportunities to expand and enhance its network, stated Alan M. Meckler, chairman and CEO of Internet.com.

"This acquisition will dramatically increase internet.com's reach into the critical IT industry, thus presenting our current advertisers additional options, as well as opening new promotional avenues for EarthWeb.com advertisers who had not previously advertised on our other sites," he said. "We envision tremendous operational synergies between our existing and new properties, and are very excited that this strong team is joining us."

The Web sites acquired by Internet.com include: Developer.com, Datamation, CrossNodes, SysOpt.com, ERP Hub, Open Source IT, Javascripts.com, JARS.com, HTML Goodies, Gamelan, CodeGuru.com, Intranet Journal, CIN and Earthweb Direct. EarthWeb will license select content from the properties being sold.

"Another added advantage of this transaction is the relationship going forward with Dice.com and the people who built these fine properties," Meckler said. Dice.com is Earthweb.com's online job board offering high-tech permanent, contract and consulting positions to IT professionals.

"We have the dominant market position as the leading provider of IT career solutions," said Jack D. Hidary, president and CEO of EarthWeb. "Our career solutions businesses are characterized by exceptionally high gross margins and positive cash flow.

Earlier this year, EarthWeb announced an intensified focus on its core online IT career services, which include dice.com and MeasureUp, a provider of preparation products for IT professional certifications.

"With this transaction, we will now focus all our efforts on continuing to develop and build our core products and services in online IT recruiting and certification preparation services for IT professionals," Hidary said. "This is an area where we are dominant. We had 8,600 customers at the end of the fourth quarter."

Meckler said he expects to incur costs associated with the integration of the EarthWeb assets, after which he anticipates that the acquisition will be breakeven for internet.com.

"By the fourth quarter of 2001, we anticipate that this acquisition will be accretive to internet.com on a cash-earnings basis," Meckler said.