Top 10 Internet Acquisitions

HipMojo, a blog I’ve found myself reading a lot lately, has their list of the top 10 Internet acquisitions of all time (eleven actually, I love that).

Here is the list, but you really should click thru and read the color commentary.

#11 – Honorary Mention: Yahoo! acquires Yoyodyne in 1998 for $39 Million

#10 – aQuantive acquires Razorfish for $160M in June 2004

#9 – Microsoft acquires Hotmail for $400M in 1998

#8 – Ask Jeeves acquires Interactive Search Holdings for $343M in March 2004

#7 – eBay acquires Paypal for $1.5B in 2002

#6 – AOL Time Warner acquires Advertising.com for $435M in June 2004

#5 – Yahoo! acquires Inktomi for $235M in December, 2002

#4 – Yahoo! acquires Overture for $1.63B in July, 2003

#3 – Google acquires Sprinks (for basically nothing) in October 2003

#2 – New York Times acquires About.com for $410M in February, 2005

#1 – News Corporation acquires MySpace-parent Intermix for $580M in May 2005

I am not going to critique this list. It’s pretty good. I might have added a few and subtracted a few and rearranged the order, but it’s certainly a list of very good deals that have worked.

Three things I’d point out about this list.

1 – Six of the eleven deals were done in the range of $235mm to $500mm with the sweet spot in the $400mm range. I don’t know if this means anything. It’s just interesting to note.

2 – Seven of the eleven deals were done in the "Internet doldrums" of 2001-2004. It will always be true that the best time to buy is when nobody else is buying.

3 – Seven of the elven deals were done by "Internet companies" meaning they didn’t exist before 1995. Two were done by traditional media companies, NY Times and News Corp. One by a software company, Microsoft. And one by a hybird, AOL Time Warner. I don’t know whether this ratio will continue as traditional media companies and technology companies start buying Internet companies more agressively.

Lists like this are interesting to me because it’s always looking at what has worked and try to figure out what you can learn from it. What do you take away from this list?