Digital Media M&A


Reunion.com And Wink Merge To Create Entirely New Breed Of People Search — Reunion.com, a leading people search service, and Wink, the world’s largest people search engine, have merged to form the most comprehensive online platform for people looking to find each other on the Web. An entirely new brand and Web site will launch early next year to cement the unique positioning of this joint company as the leader in people search, providing users with access to a combined total of more than 700 million profiles that span social networks, online communities, and other proprietary sources. The recent explosion of social networks has created a multitude of options for people to establish online identities — making it that much more challenging to find people you’re looking for. The new joint company will leverage its wide array of cutting-edge technologies to search the entire Web and across networks to help you find everyone — no matter what sites they are using. “This deal is the next step in our company’s evolution to bring a groundbreaking mix of people search services to consumers across multiple online networks,” said Jeffrey Tinsley, founder and chief executive officer of Reunion.com. “With five billion searches across the Web each month, the people search vertical is bigger than any other. Our goal is to create the definitive people search service that creates a single source for connecting with people. In the coming months, we’ll work closely with Wink to combine our company strengths, integrate best-of-breed technologies, and offer our users the most robust service available to find people.”Wink’s superior search results integrate a number of online sources and cover the world’s largest social networks, including MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Friendster, Bebo, Live Spaces, Yahoo!360, Xanga, and Twitter. Wink’s experienced team of search engineers, who came from Yahoo!, Inktomi, Excite, and Google, have developed proprietary algorithms and indexing techniques to capture the full text and structure of public profiles across the Web to make them quickly and easily searchable. Source: mergermarket.

Razorfish Buys Spanish Digital Ad Shop Wysiwyg; Lays Off 40 In New York — Looking to expand its European presence, Microsoft’s Razorfish has bought Spanish digital ad shop Wysiwyg. Terms were not disclosed. But as Razorfish was adding elsewhere, it was subtracting in the U.S., as Bloomberg reported that the company laid off 40 staffers in New York this week. The job cuts represent about 2 percent of its total workforce, which stretches across the U.S., China, Australia, France, Germany, Japan and the U.K. Razorfish CEO Clark Kokich told Bloomberg that the Seattle-based company sees a bit of “softness” in the online ad arena. Nevertheless, growth hasn’t gone away Kokich said, it’s just happening at a reduced pace.

Social Net Ad Firm Adknowledge Buys Facebook Analytics Company Adonomics — Adknowledge, a behavioral targeter focusing on social nets, has acquired Facebook analytics firm Adonomics, AllFacebook reported (via Venturebeat). Adonomics’ data will be merged into Cubics, an online ad network for social net apps which Adknowledge bought last December. Initially, the company sought to attract investors and developers interested in reselling Facebook apps. Cubics originally was centered on Facebook, but eventually began working creating services for Bebo and other OpenSocial networks as well.

Amdocs Buys VC-Backed Changingworlds — Dublin-based Changingworlds, a mobile phone services firm that counts Vodafone and Sprint among its customers, said late on Wednesday it had been bought by New York-listed Amdocs (DOX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for $60 million. The deal is likely to trigger a multi-million dollar windfall for co-founders Barry Smyth, who is still its chief scientist, and Paul Cotter, who spun the company out of University College Dublin in 1999. Amdocs will also pay $11.6 million to Irish private equity group TVC Holdings, which invested seed capital in Changingworlds in 2000. That figure, which could grow to $16.4 million, is 3.7 times TVC’s original investment.

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