Hearst Corp. apparently didn’t find what it was looking for, as it has sold off its shares of Local.com, a search engine for local businesses, services and products. Hearst was thinking locally earlier this year when it made a private placement investment in Local.com, and had paid $6 million for its stake, obtaining a 22 percent stake in the company. But last week the company converted its securities into common stock and sold these shares on the open market.
What does all this mean for Local.com and their upcoming Mobile Local Search? It is too early to say (likely the company just has more shareholders since the stock was sold off, and these could be local or otherwise), but it was just two weeks ago that the Irvine, California-based firm received a patent approval for mobile search, that uses various protocols including voice-enabled and SMS systems. However, as was reported as well online, this patent could be in conflict with at least one existing patent from Jingle Networks. We’ll be watching what happens with Local.com and their mobile search very closely.
Local.com: Hearst Apparently Sells Entire 22% Stake [Barons Online]