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RH Donnelley buys Business.com to for $345 million

business-dot-com-logoRH Donnelley announced Thursday that it bought Business.com domain for a reported $345 million, out bidding groups like Dow Jones, New York Times and News Corp.

The deal that was first reported by PaidContent.org closes out what looks like a fierce bidding war. PaidContent reported News Corp. dropped out once the price broke $300 million. Dow Jones spent too much time as it weighs the News Corp. bid. And the New York Times held firm until the end.

According to RH Donnelley’s statement, the company paid $345 million in cash and “future considerations.” Business.com CEO Jake Winebaum will also become president of RH Donnelley’s interactive operations. Mr. Winebaum will also oversee RH Donnelley’s online properties including DexKnows.com, LocalLaunch, Business.com, Work.com and the Business.com Ad network. He will report to RH Donnelley CEO David Swanson. The company said:

Through this transaction, R.H. Donnelley will add to its existing interactive portfolio a rapidly growing and profitable business-to-business company, with online properties that include Business.com, Work.com and the Business.com Advertising Network. These online brands attract an audience of highly qualified and motivated business decision makers. Business.com optimizes the revenues from these properties through the use of its Performance Based Advertising (PBA) platform, which is considered to be one of the most advanced systems in the marketplace.

In addition, R.H. Donnelley’s Triple Play business-to-consumer integrated marketing solutions will also benefit from a significant infusion of leading-edge search and directory technology and interactive thought leadership from Business.com, particularly in the areas of performance based advertising technologies and corresponding ad network capabilities.

That’s one way to say RH Donnelley is diversifying as the yellow pages and yellow page listing business, currently a cash cow, erodes due to online advertising competition. Business.com has 100 employees, is profitable and on track to deliver $50 million around in 2007 revenue.