May 14, 2008 / 10:32 PM / 10 years ago

Comcast acquires social network pioneer Plaxo

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - 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.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts speaks at his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada January 8, 2008. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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 delivery site.

Reporting by Yinka Adegoke and Eric Auchard; Editing by Braden Reddall

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