CBS to Acquire Tech News Provider CNET

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CBS is the latest old media organization to acquire a major network of Internet properties. It announced a deal to acquire CNET, a San Francisco-based network that includes popular Web sites like News.com and Download.com.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

CBS says it's spending $1.8 billion to buy CNET.com, the Web site known for technology news. It's the latest in one of the biggest of the TV network's Web purchases.

Cyrus Farivar reports.

CYRUS FARIVAR: Assuming the deal goes through, it will give CBS access to CNET's vast stable of Web sites, including its flagship property, CNETNews.com. In recent years, CNET has acquired other Web sites, including the food site Chow.com, and has created new ones, including the business oriented site BNET.

This deal is the latest in a long string of old media companies buying up online properties, one that stretches back to Time Warner's acquisition of AOL in 2000.

By now there might not be many large independent sites that are left, says Forrester analyst James McQuivey.

Mr. JAMES MCQUIVEY (Analyst): Maybe part of what this is is an acknowledgement that a lot of the best sites have already been bought up. IVillage was bought up by NBC-Universal. We're looking at what else is there that would really add a large number of eyeballs and a great ad inventory base to your existing business. And there's not a lot left out there. So maybe this is the last of the big ones.

FARIVAR: McQuivey added that he expects CBS to leave CNET largely as it is, although there may be room to add additional content from CBS's news department.

For NPR News, I'm Cyrus Farivar.

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