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Kimberly Powell

Ancestry.com, Inc. to Acquire Archives.com for $100 million

By April 25, 2012

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Ancestry.com announced this afternoon that it has entered into an agreement to acquire family history website Archives.com for approximately $100 million in cash and assumed liabilities. You can view the full press release on GeneaPress. Archives.com offers access to over 2.1 billion historical records and in just over two years has grown to more than $380,000 paying subscribers at an annual subscription fee of $39.95.

Now before you start grumbling about Ancestry.com gobbling up everything, it is important to realize that Ancestry sees Archives.com as a complementary offering, not a competitor, and plans to continue operating the site much as it is now with different search options, mostly different record sets, and a lower subscription rate. Much as with Ancestry's acquisition of Fold3, Archives.com will continue to retain its own brand, website, and customer base under the Ancestry.com umbrella. According to Ancestry.com CEO Tim Sullivan, Archives.com will not become a clone of Ancestry. Ancestry.com likes the vision that Archives.com has for its online family history service, and plans to leverage the resources of Ancestry.com along with the employees of Inflection/Archives.com to help achieve these goals. As a separate product from Ancestry.com, Archives.com will continue to focus on attracting new users to family history with a product that is affordable and easy to use.

May 6, 2012 at 1:12 pm
(1) Chuck Livermore says:

Hi Kimberly,

I know you cautioned us against grumbling about Ancestry.com and I understand Ancestry’s intention to keep Archives.com as its own brand. But doesn’t it seem that with all their acquisitions Ancestry may be put in the same league as Standard Oil and U S Steel at the end of the 19th century? Have they become the “robber barons” of the genealogy world?

Even though RootsWeb, Footnote (Fold3), and Archives are maintained as seperate entities, are they still not at Ancestry’s beck and call and will do their bidding if called upon? It just seems like too much power in one entity’s hands is not good for the genealogical community.

May 23, 2012 at 9:31 am
(2) ~Kimberly says:

Grumbling is one thing. Questioning is another. Questioning is always good, and I agree that healthy competition generally is good for the customers! MyHeritage.com, brightsolid (FindMyPast.co.uk and soon moving into the US market) and, of course, FamilySearch, also hold pretty large chunks of the genealogy market. It’s still a pretty exciting space in my opinion.

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