The InterActiveCorp (IAC) that owns and operates Match.com, signed a deal to sell off their European operations of Match.com which include Match.co.uk to the French-based company Meetic for a 5 million euro note (about $6.3 million) along with a 27% interest in the Meetic online dating service company.
The IAC said that the Match European operation contributed about 13% of their operating income before amortization. That equals about $11.9 million of their overall unadjusted 2008 operating income of $91.3 million.
Meetic, which operates 10 online dating services in 15 European countries and Latin America, offers both online and mobile-phone based programs and has been a fast mover in online dating across the UK and Europe. Match.com is essentially licensing the Match.com brand for its European operations to Meetic, and Meetic will optimize the two brands on a market by market basis.
This deal basically puts an end to any competition in the UK dating market since Meetic has already acquired the other big contender DatingDirect.com and Match.co.uk had uDate.com through an older acquisition. It’ll be interesting to see how much money eHarmony wastes in the UK market this year trying to get a food hold of their US-based brand established. It is almost like Classmates trying to enter into the UK market and compete against FriendsReunited.com. It just won’t work.