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CBS purchases CNet for $1.8 billion

CBS Corporation has agreed to purchase CNet for $1.8 billion - a 45 per cent premium on its most recent share price

CBS Corporation has entered an agreement to purchase CNet Networks - the web publisher of ZDNet and, among others - for USD 1.8 billion.

The offer, valued at USD 11.50 per share, represents a 45 per cent premium on CNet's most recent closing price.

"The core businesses of CNET Networks and CBS Interactive represent near perfect category symmetry in premium online content," said Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive.

Smith said the deal would allow the two companies to "build new verticals" as well as grow their existing businesses. CBS estimates the combined properties will have 54 million unique users per month in the US and 200 million worldwide.

CNet's board has approved the offer and is recommending that its shareholders do the same.

According to Reuters, the CBS deal could end a battle between CNet and an "activist" investor group attempting to shake up the company and stop the slide of its share price. That group recently introduced a plan to boost earnings by partnering with Google.

The purchase, if approved, is expected to close in the third quarter.