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Dennis the Menace buys FriendsReunited

ITV takes a £95m loss on the deal

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ITV has sold Web1.0 social networking site FriendsReunited to DC Thomson, publisher of the Beano.

DC Thomson's subsidiary brightsolid is paying £25m for the websites which include dating and genealogy services. Genealogy is big business online and brightsolid owns findmypast.com which claims 650m family records. The firm also worked with the government to get the 1911 census online.

FriendsReunited was the media darling of the first internet bubble. It was created by Steve and Julie Pankhurst from their home in Barnet, north London. It launched in 2000 and by the end of 2002 claimed 8m members.

It tried various business models including annual subscriptions but dropped these in 2007. By then it was already struggling to compete with the next generation of social sites like MySpace and Bebo.

Press release is here. ®

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