US media group picks up Uswitch.com for £210m

LONDON – Price comparison website Uswitch.com has been snapped up by US publishing and TV group EW Scripps for £210m as the wave of internet acquisitions by traditional media firms continues.

Uswitch.com was founded in 2000 and was, until now, owned by private investors and employees. It allows consumers to compare prices for energy, telecoms and financial services, and also owns local information website Upmystreet.com, which it bought in 2003.

Scripps will put the business in a newly created interactive media division, which will also house the US price comparison site Shopzilla, which it acquired last June. It also owns a number of websites linked to its cable TV networks, such as Food Network and DIY Network.

The US company's other domestic businesses include TV shopping channel Shop At Home, local newspapers, TV stations, and United Media, which syndicates the Peanuts and Dilbert cartoon strips.

The Uswitch senior management team, including chief executive Andrew Salmon, will all stay on.

Uswitch is expected to nearly double its revenue in 2006 to between £23m and £26m. Earlier this year, reports that the company was ready to sell out valued it at £100m.

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