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New York technology development firm Betaworks has agreed to buy news-sharing website Digg, in an attempt to revive a company that was early to social media but outmaneuvered by rivals like Facebook Inc. FB -0.52% and Twitter Inc.
Under the deal, which Digg confirmed closed Thursday, Betaworks is buying the Digg brand, website and technology. The price was just $500,000, three people familiar with the matter said—a pittance for a company that raised $45 million from prominent investors including LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and Marc Andreessen.
Betaworks is acquiring a website that still has a well known brand and sizable audience of more than 7 million visitors per month as of May, according to comScore. The company intends to fold Digg into News.me Inc. a digital media startup that Betaworks launched in April 2011.
LinkedIn paid between $3.75 million and $4 million for around 15 different Digg patents including the patent on “click a button to vote up a story.”