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Comcast buys Linkedin Competitor, Plaxo for up to $175m

Communications company Comcast has purchased online contact manager for an undisclosed amount, although various sources say that Comcast will offer up to $175m depending on performance.

The exact terms of the acquisition were not disclosed and some news source have said that the actual amount could be less than $100m.

The Philadelphia company is planning to boost it online services which will then be available to Comcast customers through their set top boxes and appliances.

Sam Schwartz, executive vice president of Comcast Interactive Media, explained that Comcast would use Plaxo as "the social media backbone of its products".

Comcast has 25 million TV subscribers and 14 million Internet subscribers in the United States and has been looking to beef up its online offerings in the past few years; it purchased Fadango last year.

In effect, Comcast is gradually transforming into the new, albeit smaller, AOL by adding online services to its telecommunications activities and Plaxo's own 50 million accounts (ed : That's roughly £2 per account).

Plaxo has had a "for sale" sign on the front door since the beginning of the year and had been rumoured to be courted by Google and Facebook.

Plaxo joined the Google-backed Open Social group last year and launched Plaxo Pulse, a new feature which made it more social network friendly.

Google to buy Plaxo? - ITProportal.com
Rumour Mill : Facebook to grab Plaxo - ITProportal.com
Plaxo up for grabs after falling behind Linkedin - ITProportal.com

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.