After Hours

Speaking of getting acquired

CBS decides to buy CNET for $1.8 billion. Not too shabby. CNET has some experience with purchasing companies as well. Check out some of the purchases CNET has made in recent history.

Just yesterday I posited the question over whether HP's purchase of EDS was a good idea or bad idea based on HP's history of acquiring Compaq. Then coming into work this morning, I was greeted at the front desk by our trusty receptionist Mae with three words that never bode well for conversation starters: "Have you heard?"

Like my coworker Toni Bowers, I'm still a little uneasy about what it all means, but I don't think it seems like that much of a bad thing. At least we don't have to worry about being sued by David Letterman now for our 10 Things lists.

Seeing as how this is Classics Rock however, let's look at the CNET sale from a historical perspective. CBS is buying CNET for $1.8 billion dollars. CNET itself has been known to go on a few shopping sprees:

  • July 2000 - CNET Buys ZDNet for $1.6 Billion
  • April 9, 2001 - CNET buys TechRepublic for $23 million
  • August 2002 - CNET buys for $158 million
  • July 2004 - CNET buys WebShots for $70 million
  • November 2007 - CNET buys FindArticles for $20 million

Adjusted for inflation, the ZDNet purchase was worth $1.97 billion in 2007 dollars. The TechRepublic purchase was worth $27 million in 2007 dollars.

Those purchases were made near the height of the DotCom boom, so there's no real direct comparison that can be made between any of the purchases. It's just interesting to see how the valuation of things changes over time.


I think it goes straight to the issue: "Was the dotcom boom really a boom?" I don't think so. I think that in 2001, a lot of investors realized they were heavily invested in used office furniture and pie-in-the-sky business models. I also think that Google and Yahoo are BOTH destined to get re-valued sharply downward as investors make the same assessment. Some people are confusing clicks with cash - a fatal mistake if you're writing a business plan.


Don't forget about buying I couldn't find out how much they paid for company.

John Sheesley - TechRepublic Pro
John Sheesley - TechRepublic Pro

I dug around and couldn't find the price either. There for a while, CNET was snapping up companies left and right. (which became UrbanBaby. Meanwhile TR just kept plunking along. :)

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