Hearst to acquire shoppers' site Kaboodle

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NEW YORK -- Publisher Hearst Corp. said Wednesday it will buy Kaboodle Inc., a Web site where shoppers can network and make recommendations on products.

Terms of the deal are not being disclosed, the privately held companies said.

Hearst aims to build pages on Kaboodle featuring products from many of its 19 U.S. magazine titles, such as Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping, hoping to draw more activity from its 30 million Hearst unique monthly Web visitors.

"We understand very well that people want to collaborate while shopping," Hearst Interactive President Kenneth Bronfin told Reuters. "We think this marriage of community with shopping is a big and important prospect."

Santa Clara, California-based Kaboodle, operator of Kaboodle.com, has more than 2 million U.S. unique monthly visitors. The site generates revenue through fees for advertisements.

The acquisition follows a deal by Hearst last month to buy UGO Networks Inc., a network of Web sites devoted to video games, movies and other entertainment, as it sought a bigger chunk of the male Internet audience.

"We're going to continue to look at any number of new acquisitions that make strategic sense," Bronfin said.
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