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CBS Buys CNET For $1.8 Billion

The move is an attempt by the broadcaster to make a signifigant move into the online world, where rivals News Corp and others are already making good headway. CBS has purchased an established but ailing internet stalwart in CNET, unlike rivals who have bought up bright young things like MySpace and Bebo.

CNET has required restructuring, something its current owners in the hedge fund JANA has been attempting to do. That restructuring is far, far from complete, but the near 45% premium on the share price should appease them from attempting to hold out, restructure the company and add value to it. Better to forego the expense and time that would take and run with the money CBS is offering.

CBS will now take on this job whilst pushing itself onto the web in a major way, in a move that it says will provide the combined company with 54 million unique users in the U.S. and brands ranging from CNET News to MP3.com and CBSSports.com

The deal should be finalised by the third quarter of the year, with CBS predicting headline growth in revenue and profits in the mid to high-teens.