10 Notable Affiliate Marketing Acquisitions of Last 5 Years

An affiliate network that’s currently negotiating with investors has approached me asking if there’s a place where they can review mergers and especially acquisitions that have happened in the affiliate marketing world over the past few years.

Having found no such compilation anywhere, I have decided to put one together myself:

  1. Apr. 2007 — Google spends $3.1 billion on DoubleClick [source: CNN.com] including Performics affiliate network, which was later rebranded into Google Affiliate Network.
  2. Feb. 2008 — AOL acquires buy.at affiliate network for $125 million [source: Business Insider]
  3. Sep. 2009 — GSI Commerce purchases out Pepperjam (affiliate network and OPM agency) [more at SearchEngineWatch.com]
  4. Jan. 2010 — Time Inc. acquires StyleFeeder.com affiliate website [source: The Wall Street Journal | see also this post of mine on it]
  5. Jun. 2010 — Adknowledge, which “earns $300 million in annual revenue” buys Hydra CPA network [sources: ClickZ; InternetRetailer.com]
  6. Mar. 2010 — AOL sells buy.at, which had “annual sales of more than 40 million euros”, to Digital Window (terms of the deal not disclosed) [more here]
  7. Apr. 2010 — Schaaf Consulting OPM agency acquires competitor, PartnerCentric [source: mThink.com & ReveNews]
  8. Dec. 2010 — WhaleShark Media, which previously acquired Deals2Buy.com, CheapStingyBargains.com, Deals.com, CouponShare.com, and CouponSeven.com, buys RetailMeNot.com affiliate website (amount undisclosed) [source: SmartCompany.com.au]
  9. Mar. 2011 — Google pays £37.7 million (over $61 million) for a UK-based BeatThatQuote.com affiliate site [source Guardian.co.uk]
  10. Mar. 2011 — eBay purchases GSI Commerce for $2.4 billion [source: Mashable.com]

If I have missed an acquisition that must be mentioned here, please add it through the “Comments” function below, and I’ll make sure to add it to the above list too.

6 thoughts on “10 Notable Affiliate Marketing Acquisitions of Last 5 Years”

  1. Excellent list and great idea for a post. It’s hard to find these in one place, and these can be really helpful for affiliate oriented companies talking to venture capitalists and such. Thanks Geno!

    1. Sure thing, and glad you liked the post, Peter. Yes, I’m certain many others will find it of help in preparing their business plans for venture capitalists, mergers, and other similar contexts.

  2. #5 isn’t really notable except that Hydra was basically out of business, the partners suing each other. The only thing notable about it is how they’ve revived it from a dead brand.

    The last one GSI commerce has little or nothing to do with affiliate marketing.

    1. Actually Pace, if you’ll notice in #3, GSI commerce had previously aquired Pepperjam which does have something to do with affiliate marketing.

  3. You wrote about Digital Window acquiring buy.at but not about Digital Window being acquired by Axel Springer and PubliGroupe (owners of Zanox) in 2009.

    This was one of the most important acquisitions in the European affiliate scene since it brought two of the largest affiliate networks under the same roof: Zanox and Affiliate Window (and later buy.at)

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