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CBS to buy CNET for bigger Internet presence

US broadcaster CBS announced Thursday to buy online media company CNET for $1.8 billion in a deal that would give the traditional television network a major presence in the rapidly growing Internet marketplace.

“There are very few opportunities to acquire a company like CNET Networks,” said CBS CEO Leslie Moonves in a statement. “CNET will add a tremendous platform to extend our complementary entertainment, news, sports, music and information content to a whole new global audience.”

The deal would instantly give CBS a top 10 presence on the Internet, and also help CNET appease its shareholders who have been frustrated about the company’s stock performance and business execution. “We’re thrilled to join CBS and combine our interactive media experience with CBS’s world-class content,” CNET CEO Neil Ashe said in the statement. The deal, which has been approved by CNET board of directors, is subject to regulatory scrutiny and shareholder approval. The two companies expect it to close in the Q3.

The CBS move follows a string of similar acquisitions by traditional media companies of online ones, as these established media giants seek ways to tap into the lucrative Internet advertising business. The San Francisco-base CNET was originally started in 1992 as a television company, but quickly moved on to the online world as the Internet began to take off in the mid-1990s. Since then the company has established itself as the premier site for technology news, reviews and information online. (Xinhuanet)