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.