CBS To Acquire CNET For $1.8 Billion

“The core businesses of CNET Networks and CBS Interactive represent near perfect category symmetry in premium online content,”
Quincy Smith, President, CBS Interactive.

And that symmetry is apparently worth about $1.8 billion, which is what CBS just agreed to pay for CNET. The deals values CNET at $11.50/share, and puts a 45% premium on stock from their closing price yesterday. CBS, which is worth a little over $16 billion, is down just over 3% on the news as of 7:45 am PST. Silicon Alley Insider was among the first to break the news.

The deal is about increasing CBS’s reach, as noted in the press release: The acquisition will make CBS one of the 10 most popular Internet companies in the United States, with a combined 54 million unique users per month, and approximately 200 million users worldwide.

The deal also likely ends the months-long fight between CNET and the activist investor group led by Jana Partners. Jana had accused CNET’s board and management of “presiding over massive value destruction” and were trying to oust much of the CNET board of directors.