Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Six Apart to Buy LiveJournal

Yahoo! News - Six Apart to Buy LiveJournal

Six Apart Ltd., the small software firm founded by childhood sweethearts Ben and Mena Trott, is set to make a big splash with the acquisition of Danga Interactive Inc.'s LiveJournal blogging network.

The deal, which will be announced on Thursday, involves an undisclosed amount of cash and stock, has confirmed.

The acquisition gives the San Mateo, Calif.-based Six Apart a major boost in the blog publishing business and a legitimate shot at staying relevant in the face of stiff competition from Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

Google has a commanding share of the market with its Blogger and Blog*Spot services, while Microsoft is looking to gain traction with the recently launched MSN Spaces platform.

With LiveJournal added to its portfolio of blog software products, Six Apart automatically becomes a big player. LiveJournal, which powers a network of blogs, Web forums, social networking and content aggregation, has a user base of more than 5.6 million.

Six Apart already has approximately 1 million paying users of its TypePad and Movable Type services.

The LiveJournal deal is the second major acquisition since Six Apart secured a first round of venture capital funding led by Japan's Neoteny Co. Ltd. In July, Six Apart purchased UBlog, a French blog software firm.

Neoteny CEO and founder Joi Ito declined to discuss the LiveJournal purchase and directed queries to company executives in the United States.

LiveJournal began as a hobby project for Oregon teenager Brad Fitzpatrick and blossomed into a popular tool for college kids to chronicle their daily lives. The service runs on an open-source platform. The LiveJournal service is free, but a premium version is available for $25 a year.

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