Comcast to buy Plaxo
Comcast is set to purchase contact management company Plaxo, and the MSO plans to incorporate – into all of its offerings – features that help people synchronize their address books and connect socially online, according to the Associated Press.
Social networking and other services will be added to the cable operator’s Comcast.net, Fancast.com and Fandango.com Web sites. And cable subscribers will eventually be able to access the services through their set-top boxes (STBs) and other devices.
"We think the combination of Plaxo and Comcast together can supercharge both of our products," Sam Schwartz, EVP of Comcast Interactive Media, told the AP. "Comcast is looking at Plaxo to become the social media backbone of its products."
\Plaxo, based in Mountain View, Calif., is funded by investors that include Cisco Systems and former Yahoo CEO Tim Koogle.
The purchase price was not disclosed.
Plaxo offers two services: one lets users update the contact information their friends have on them automatically, by sending the updates to friends' address books; the other is a social networking site called Pulse.
Plaxo currently has 15 million online accounts.
According to Plaxo CEO Ben Golub, Plaxo already manages address books on Comcast.net. Both companies hope to expand their services across different devices, the AP reported.
"Right now on Plaxo you have a lot of people who are sharing photos," Golub told the AP. "On Comcast, you ... also share them with your grandmother when she turns on the TV." Golub is referring to the ability to post photos on Comcast.net for other subscribers to see.
The acquisition is part of Comcast's strategy to strengthen its online presence, the AP reported.
More Broadband Direct:
• Comcast to buy Plaxo 
• Broadband Briefs for 5/15/08