InfoSpace Improves Mobile Menu

InfoSpace is buying Moviso from Vivendi Universal Net for $25 million in cash, a move that adds mobile content such as ringtones, video, graphics and games to its offerings.

“Moviso is by far the leader in the space,” Infospace spokeswoman Nancy Bacchieri told “It’s the company we wanted.”

A Moviso spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

In addition to Moviso’s technology, InfoSpace, which specializes in search and online payment technologies, gains new customers including Verizon Wireless. Other customers on the companies’ list overlap, such as T Mobile and Cingular and Bellevue, Wash.-based InfoSpace hopes to further expand its sales with these clients.

These carriers license content Moviso’s content, which produced $3 million in third-quarter revenue. Mobivo, an acronym extracted from “mobile, vision and sound,” nearly broke even on an operating basis.

InfoSpace’s Bacchieri said no organizational decisions will be made until after the deal closes, which should happen by year’s end. She does expect that Moviso’s headquarters will be remain in Los Angeles.

In dollar terms, the acquisition eats up less than one-tenth of the $301 million in cash InfoSpace reported having in the bank at the end of the second quarter. It’s the company’s first merger of the year.

“We certainly believe we need to put that money to work,” Bacchieri said. “But whether that means making additional acquisitions remains to be seen.”

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