Condé Nast has acquired popular technology blog Ars Technica (ranked #5 all time on the BloggerBoard), we’ve confirmed. The site will become part of Wired Digital (which in turn is under CondéNet, run by Sarah Chubb). Wired Digital assets include Wired.com and Reddit (acquired in 2006). The acquisition price will not be disclosed, but our sources say it is in the $25 million range, which is what Condé Nast paid for Wired.com in 2006.
Effectively, Ars Technica is now part of Wired. Look for an official announcement next week.
This marks a new beginning for Ars Technica, which was originally founded in 1998 by Ken “Caesar” Fisher (based in Boston) and Jon “Hannibal” Stokes (based in Chicago). They, along with their 8 or so employees, will remain with the company as it is integrated into Wired Digital.
Comscore says Ars Technica has just 1.5 million monthly unique visitors and 4 million page views, but our understanding is that the actual number of unique visitors to the site is around 4.5 million. The audience demographic is very similar to Wired, although our sources say the overlap is relatively small.
This is also another lost customer for Federated Media Publishing, which sells advertising for Ars Technica (Digg left Federated Media last year to accept a very lucrative Microsoft deal that will pay out over $100 million over three years). CondéNet will now take over advertising sales.