NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO Comcast has agreed to
acquire pioneering Web start-up Plaxo, which first sought to
turn address books into social networks and laid the foundation
for Friendster and Facebook.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
However, a source close to the deal said Comcast, the
largest U.S. cable TV operator and a leading U.S. broadband
Internet supplier, is paying "around $175 million (90 million
pounds), plus or minus 5 percent."
Plaxo is famous in Silicon Valley lore for being early to
realize the potential business opportunities sitting latent in
the online address books of e-mail users -- but only belatedly
jumping on the social network craze that soon followed.
Comcast plans to use Plaxo to give its consumers social
network links across all Comcast-connected devices including
TVs, digital video recorders and, eventually, wireless devices,
thanks to a new partnership with Sprint, Clearwire and Google.
Plaxo will join its fast-growing Comcast Interactive Media
unit which includes Comcast.net, video entertainment site
Fancast, movie site Fandango and theplatform, an online video
(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke and Eric Auchard; Editing by