US news and information network CBS has agreed to buy technology publishing company CNET Networks which operates sites including News.com, ZDNet, GameSpot, TV.com and MP3.com, in a deal valued at $US1.8 billion.
CBS says it will pay $US11.50 per share, a 45 per cent premium over CNET’s share price at closing on Wednesday. The CNET board has also unanimously approved the deal.
The deal will make CBS one of the top 10 U.S. Internet companies, in terms of traffic, attracting 54 million unique monthly visitors in the U.S. and around 200 million worldwide.
The deal will also end a dispute with CNET shareholders Jana Partners, which was attempting to elect new directors and propel the company in a different direction.
CBS chief executive Les Moonves said, “Together, CBS and CNET Networks will have significant additional exposure to the fastest-growing advertising sector and can accelerate our growth through a number of new content, promotion and advertising initiatives.”
Other recent CBS acquisitions in the Internet space include its $US 280 million purchase of social music site Last.fm, and the financial news Web show Wallstrip.