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Ask.com has bought a stable of Internet reference sites that includes Dictionary.com in its latest effort to distinguish itself from online search leader Google Inc. and other much larger rivals.
Besides Dictionary.com, Ask is picking up Thesaurus.com and Reference.com in its acquisition of Lexico Publishing Group LLC. Terms of the deal, set to be announced Thursday, aren't being disclosed.
With the addition of the widely used reference tools, Ask hopes to make more money showing ads to people looking for answers to basic questions. "We want to 'super serve' those people," said Jim Safka, who runs Ask for its corporate parent, IAC/InterActiveCorp.
Ask.com Acquires Lexico Publishing Group, Including dictionary.com [news.yahoo.com]
Turns out Ask.com has the answers for Lexico Publishing, the owner of Dictionary.com which earlier agreed to be acquired by Answers.com (NSDQ: ANSW) in a doomed effort. The IAC (NSDQ: IACI) subsidiary isn't disclosing the price of the all-cash transaction but, according to a source familiar with the situation, it's in the same range as the $100 million that Answers.com was supposed to pay.
Ask isn't talking revenue either, but Doug Leeds, the Ask.com chief strategy officer who will run the company, told me, " It is profitable, very profitable. ... We believe it will be accretive in the first quarter that we have it."