Home Big Media Snapping Up Web 2.0 Startups – CBS, eBay, Fox, Google Announce Acquisitions Today

Big Media Snapping Up Web 2.0 Startups – CBS, eBay, Fox, Google Announce Acquisitions Today

Update: Google has acquired Panoramio, a website that links millions of photos with the exact geographical location where they were taken. It’s all happening today!

(original post) A lot of acquisition news has been released today, with the common theme that Big Media is buying successful web 2.0 startups. First it was CBS acquiring last.fm for $280M, which Josh Catone wrote up earlier today. CBS has been very active in Web 2.0 activity lately. As well as today’s acquisition, CBS has been courting web 2.0 sites – like Bebo, MuseStorm, Clearspring, Goowy Media and many more – in order to spread their content virally across social media sites. Also last week CBS announced its Audience Network initiative.

If anyone doubts that there is a market for web 2.0 startups, then they only need look at the interest mainstream media (like CBS) is showing in new Web technologies. Interestingly, last.fm notes in its blog that “the openness of our platform and our approach to privacy won‚Äôt change” – which is undoubtedly going to be an ongoing issue with big media purchases of web 2.0 startups.

Also announced today, eBay confirmed the much-rumored StumbleUpon acquisition – and the price is $75 Million. The announcement included some hints about what eBay will do with StumbleUpon, a topic of a lot of speculation in recent months. With its approx 2.3 million users and its community recommendations technology, StumbleUpon offers a new viral way of shopping that will probably, in time, be integrated into the eBay e-commerce platform.

Finally, Fox Interactive Media officially announced it has acquired photo and video sharing sites Photobucket and Flektor. The price wasn’t mentioned, but Techcrunch says it’s $300 million for Photobucket (including a $50 million earnout) and $15-20 million for Flektor. Fox described Photobucket as “one of the Web’s most popular photo- and video-sharing services” – but more importantly, it’s a perfect fit with MySpace. Indeed much of Photobucket’s traffic already comes via MySpace. Flektor was described as “a next-generation Web site that provides users with a suite of Web-based tools to transform their photos and videos into dynamic slideshows, postcards, live interactive presentations and video mash-ups.”

Things are heating up in the M&A market, and one senses that Big Media honchos are under pressure to acquire some of these new-fangled Internet technologies – before their competitors do.

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