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CNet Facing Investor Takeover Attempt

GameSpot had its problems last year, and now, their owner could be staring an investor takeover attempt directly in the face. According to the New York Times, CNet Networks has underperformed in previous years, posting a 19% loss in stock over the past three. Situated in San Francisco, CNet is a publicly held media company that owns GameSpot.com, Downloads.com, News.com, and several other major domains.

Bloomberg says that only 2 of 18 analysts currently list CNet as a "buy," and traffic for CNet websites has been on the decline recently. Investors seeking to overthrow the current board of directors have worked to acquire a 21% stake and hope to control 7 of the 13 seats of an expanded CNet board of directors. To combat the takeover talks, the board has decided to change its charter and bylaws. And now, a shareholder must have $1,000 in shares for at least one year if they wish to make any amendments to its bylaws. The internal strife may go away when the investor consortium meets the aforementioned requirement, or it is able to mount a legal charge in order to bypass the obstacle in court.

Bear in mind that none of this has anything to do with "Gerstmann-gate," even though that fiasco is proving to have long-lasting effects. The lagging traffic may have a little something to do with the nasty rumor that GameSpot puts advertising dollars before journalistic integrity, though...

1/7/2008 Ben Dutka

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