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Is InfoSpace Cashing Out?

First it was announced that InfoSpace was selling Switchboard and other directory properties of theirs to Idearc for $225 million. Today InfoSpace announces that they’re selling off their mobile services business for $135 million.

Infospace

InfoSpace’s release says that they’re selling off the mobile services “…to focus on online search”. They’re apparently going to also give a chunk of this change back to their shareholders in a dividend.

This just makes me wonder, is Infospace cashing out?

Local search has been one of Infospace’s strengths over time — they even changed their core website a few years ago to focus on local search & yellow pages more — prior to that they’d been a more general search engine (they still own general meta search engines like Dogpile.com).

Also, this mobile service sale seems odd since the rest of the internet marketing industry is starting to hyper-focus on mobile search and services.

Even though “yellow pages” directories are not exactly the same thing as local search, you’d expect for InfoSpace to hold onto the assets (and hold onto the mobile services), or to sell the assets to use the money to capitalize on the search areas where they want to focus. So, why are they doing this?

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