Ft.com in US link with CBS MarketWatch site

LONDON - The Financial Times Group has continued its bid to boost its web presence with a merger deal that will link ft.com with leading US financial website CBS MarketWatch.com.

The deal sees FT parent Pearson joining forces with Data Broadcasting

Corporation, a US financial data supplier owned by television network

CBS.

The pounds 500 million reverse takeover will give Pearson a 60 per cent

stake in an enlarged DBC, which in turn has a 32 per cent stake in CBS

MarketWatch.com.

The site attracts more than 4.6 million visitors a month and advertising

from companies such as Fidelity Investments and Merrill Lynch.

FT Group chief executive Stephen Hill said it would let ft.com take

advantage of cross-promotional opportunities with MarketWatch.com.

’These are two distinctive and complementary products,’ he said. ’CBS

MarketWatch.com is strongly focused on actionable, market-oriented news,

while we are building ft.com as the information partner of the global

business community.’

He added that both sites were editorially compatible and that he hoped

cross-promotion would encourage a large percentage of MarketWatch.com

users to click through to ft.com.

The deal may also give ft.com an edge against rival services like

TheStreet.com, which recently launched a UK spin-off (Media Business, 20

September).

Pearson is spending at least pounds 40 million revamping and marketing

ft.com.

In September it hired US web design house Razorfish to overhaul the

site, transforming it from an online newspaper into ’a worldwide

business portal’.

It is particularly keen to pull in more users in the US, as well as

readers for the Financial Times newspaper itself, which sells 100,000

copies in the market.

In the UK, ft.com’s sales team was recently hit by the surprise

departure of head of sales Anthony Carbonari, who is joining the

international arm of Disney Interactive as sales director.

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