Citysearch Acquires Insider Pages

Well first, I’m just glad I didn’t have to watch this get drawn out. Some M&A rumors have a way of getting way out of control. Theories, napkin calculations, he said-she said. But about two weeks ago the rumor began, and here we are with the news that Citysearch has acquired Insider Pages for an undisclosed amount. I’ve referenced various sites and blogs, that I regularly read, at the end of this post and will continue to add to this list as it grows and opinions are voiced.

Ultimately, I’m not an M&A expert and I can’t even begin to estimate Insider Pages valuation. I’ll leave that to others, and already there are theories, critiques, shock, even applause. I think the rumored price is interesting though. Insider Pages, an Idea Lab company if I’m not mistaken, raised somewhere around $9M over just about a year ago. Let me say that again: $9,000,000 raised 1 year ago.

My jaw is firmly stuck to the floor. I think my shock is obvious, but perhaps I should shed a little more light on it, and it’s really quite simple – $9M in two years and they couldn’t do better than that and only get acquired for $12M? You know, I betcha someone is popping the cork on some expensive bottle of champagne too, while packing away Aeron chairs and a Brunswick pool table. Someone is celebrating. Others are not too pleased. I can’t imagine the investors are very happy. I’m sorry but I think this is sadder news for the rest of us.

If anyone out there wants to talk about the bubble, or is reminded by events over the past year that smell like the bubble, let me just say that this is not helping the cause. It’s activity and deals like this that spoil it for the rest of us! It’s bad enough that I have to contend with macro economics, fed chiefs talking about recessions, market drop offs that look like an algebraic symbol on a chalkboard, but now I gotta contend with this? Frankly, I don’t think we’re even remotely close to a dot-com bubble, but there are skeptics and theorists, and this Insider Pages activity only gives them more ammunition.

So, congratulations to Insider Pages. Congratulations to IAC and Citysearch.

I look forward to IAC imploding the Insider Pages brand, extracting the marrow from Insider Pages ‘database, and cross-breeding it with Citysearch’s database, and only making a bigger mess. If there were loyal Insider Pages users and/or customers, I’m quite comfortable predicting that they’re all going to fade away and find another site/service that had the same values that first attracted them.

Hey, IAC is a contender, I recognize them, I give them props, and ya gotta respect them – they’re the monster around the corner.

Some whales eat krill, others feed on schooling fish. IAC is a whale, and clearly this whale needs to eat. It should be interesting to see how long this meal lasts for them, until they get hungry again.


March 1, 2007:

March 2, 2007: