CNN to buy Mashable for $200-million [Rumour]

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Rumour has it that international news giant CNN is in possible talks to buy popular tech news site Mashable for upwards of US$200-million. The rumour comes courtesy of Reuters reporter Felix Salmon, who said a “little bird” informed him of the possible purchase.

According to Salmon, citing unnamed sources, the announcement should come as early as Tuesday.

CNN seems to be following AOL’s acquisition trail. The news giant already acquired iPad magazine publisher Zite for US$20 million to US$25 million back in August 2011.

If the rumour proves to be true, CNN’s acquisition of Mashable will be the latest in a string of tech news site purchases. AOL began the trend when it purchased TechCrunch, SAY Media bought ReadWriteWeb, and GigaOm recently purchased the parent company of PaidContent. Mashable’s purchase will, however, be the highest amount paid for a tech news site.

In a short video, Salmon emphasises that he doesn’t have concrete proof of the purchase but that the deal is “entirely plausible”. CNN and Mashable have had a close relationship for several years now. Pete Cashmore, founder and CEO of Mashable, is even described by CNN as “Special to CNN” in his weekly column for the news giant.

According to the New York Times at least three sources have confirmed that CNN is indeed in “advanced talks” for the potential acquisition of Mashable. However, the news agent says that a deal could still fall through.

A few years ago there was speculation as to whether AOL was interested in acquiring Mashable. Back then Cashmore released a statment saying: “We don’t comment on speculation, but we do hold our writers in high regard and pay a competitive salary for their tireless efforts.”

Mashable is yet to respond to this rumour.

Mashable says it currently receives 20-million monthly unique visitors and has 4-million social media followers.

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