Internet M&A Heats Up

A great article about internet acquisitions. Old media companies are putting up billions of dollars to buy high traffic web sites (MySpace, iVillage, etc.) so they can play in the new media space. This may be the best exit for internet companies for the foreseeable future. (Until sarbox regulations are lessened and the IPO market becomes practical once again.)

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Utah 1, Silicon Valley 1

So yesterday Verisign bought Kontiki, a managed peer-to-peer broadband video streaming company for $62 million. I believe it offers similar value (low cost video streaming) to MoveMedia (which is not based on peer-to-peer), a company founded by Drew Major of Novell fame. Kontiki was launched a few years ago by some Silicon Valley veterans. I think its location was probably key to this acquisition.

Score: Silicon Valley 1, Utah 0

But today, a high school senior from Highland, Utah won $100,000 in a science competition sponsored by Intel. Second place went to a high school student from San Jose.

Score: Utah 1, Silicon Valley 1

(Okay, so you could say the score is $62 million to $100,000, but if Shannon goes on to win the Nobel prize (like 6 previous winners have done) then Utah could still come out on top!)

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Friends Reunited, Genes Reunited sold

British broadcaster ITV is acquiring UK-based Friends Reunited for up to $305 million (including a possible payment in 2009 based on performance). While the company has several web sites, Charles Allen, ITV CEO, says that the genealogy site is “the real engine for growth” for the company.

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