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Yahoo To Acquire Associated Content

The deal to purchase the online content company may be worth $90 million to $100 million.

Yahoo reported that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Associated Content, which calls itself "the people's media company." The acquisition gives Yahoo an army of some 380,000 freelancers to provide a new source of content.

Associated Content consolidates material from freelancers who are typically paid $5 and up for providing online content. Yahoo indicated it will consolidate AC to attract more viewers and advertisers. Yahoo didn't disclose financial details of the acquisition, but various media reports placed the deal between $90 million and $100 million.

Luke Beatty, AC founder and president, noted that the AC platform delivers content on more than 60,000 topics. Founded in 2004 in Denver, AC said it receives more than 16 million unique users a month, according to online market researcher comScore; more than 50,000 content pieces a month are examined by its editorial staff.

"Combining our world-class editorial team with Associated Content's makes this a game-changer," said Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz in a statement. "Together, we'll create more content around what we know our users care about, and open up new and creative avenues for advertisers to engage with consumers across our network."

Currently aimed at U.S. viewers, the AC material will likely be scaled to global users, Yahoo indicated.

One interesting side story of the deal is that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong was an early investor in AC. Armstrong now is leading AOL into the world of independently produced online information material. AOL's Seed.com and Patch.com -- targeting local news -- could end up competing with AC. Patrick Keane, AC's CEO, and Armstrong previously worked at Google. Other early investors in AC included Canaan Partners and Softbank Capital.

AC's approach of offering information ranging from how-to help and consumer experience to travel and medical advice is, in many ways, a more sophisticated manifestation of the online content experience that began years ago with Compuserve and other online content providers.

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