IAC/InterActiveCorp (IAC) satisfies inquisitive minds who want to use the Web to explore local hot spots, meet the right partner, find a contractor, and maybe even host a party or two. The Internet conglomerate owns more than 150 brands, including search engine Ask.com, local guide Citysearch (part of advertising network CityGrid Media), dating site Match.com, and home service provider network HomeAdvisor. Other IAC holdings include Shoebuy.com, Dictionary.com, and a majority stake in Connected Ventures, the parent company of entertainment site CollegeHumor.com. It also operates current affairs Web magazine Daily Beast and publishes Newsweek magazine through its majority-owned The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company.
Focused in the areas of search, applications, online dating, local and media, IAC's family of websites is one of largest in the world, with more than a billion monthly visits across more than 30 countries.
IAC has operations in North America, Europe (including France and the UK), Latin America, Australia, and Asia. About 70% of its revenue came from the US during fiscal 2012.
The company operates through 4 main business segments: Search & Applications, Match, Local, and Media & Other. Search & Applications is the company's biggest money-maker, anchored by Ask.com. The segment brought in more than half of the company's revenue in fiscal 2012.
Match is the second largest segment in terms of revenue. Its Local segment consists of HomeAdvisor (formerly ServiceMagic) and CityGrid Media. HomeAdvisor is a leading online marketplace for matching consumers with home services professionals in the US. CityGrid Media is an online media company that owns and operates CityGrid, an advertising network that integrates local content and advertising for distribution to both affiliated and third party publishers across web and mobile platforms, as well as proprietary websites, such as Citysearch.com and Urbanspoon.com, through which consumers can access local merchant information and reviews online.
Media & Other includes assets such as Newsweek/Daily Beast, Connected Ventures, Shoebuy, and video-sharing website Vimeo.
Sales and Marketing
The company markets its services through a wide variety of activities including traditional marketing, television advertising, print advertising, and radio advertising, public relations, and e-mail campaigns. It spent about $779.7 million on advertising and marketing promotions during fiscal 2012.
A significant component of the company's revenue is attributable to a services agreement with Google. In fiscal 2012, Company earned revenue of about $1.4 billion from Google.
IAC's revenue increased 36% to $2.8 billion in fiscal 2012 from $2.1 billion in fiscal 2011.
The Search & Applications segment's revenue increased by 41% in fiscal 2012 compared to 2011, due to a strong growth from both applications and websites. Match revenue increased 38% to $713.4 million benefiting from the full year contribution of Meetic, which was consolidated in 2011, and growth within its core operations.
Media revenue increased 135% to $164.8 million primarily due to the contribution from News_Beast (formerly The Newsweek/DailyBeast Company), consolidated in mid 2012 following the company's acquisition of a controlling interest, as well as strong growth from Electus and Vimeo.
Despite the increase in revenue the company’s profits declined by 9% in fiscal 2012 over 2011 due to a $119 million income tax provision in fiscal 2012.
Mergers and Acquisitions
The company has been expanding its business and brands portfoilo through acquisition. In 2013 HomeAdvisor acquired Werkspot.nl, the Netherlands' leading online platform connecting homeowners with qualified craftsmen.
In 2012 IAC acquired online information portal About from The New York Times Company for some $300 million. The deal is the latest in the media company's efforts at using acquisitions to beef up its Search operations; IAC is adding About to its Ask.com holdings.
IAC also changed the name of its ServiceMagic business to HomeAdvisor in 2012. The move was part of a major rebranding strategy designed to better describe the business and narrow its focus on home maintenance, improvement, and repairs.
Change in Ownership
The company experienced a shift in ownership in 2010 when it bought out its largest shareholder, John Malone's Liberty Media, for $220 million in cash and its Evite and Gifts.com assets, which transferred to Liberty Interactive. (Liberty Media had previously owned some 60% of IAC.) Liberty Media's sale of IAC represents an end to the contentious 17-year business relationship between Malone and IAC head Barry Diller. Concurrent with the deal, Diller stepped down as IAC's CEO. He controls about 34% of the votes for IAC.
Formerly a jumble of disparate assets that included cable-TV networks, travel services, and mortgage lending, IAC slimmed down considerably to focus on the online search and content market in 2008, when Diller spun off HSN, Ticketmaster, Tree.com, and Interval Leisure Group. The spinoff undid years of acquisitions by IAC that positioned it as a big player in e-commerce, but also created a complex corporate structure that confused investors.