TicketMaster Online-City Search Integrates SideWalk City Sites Into Network

TicketMaster Online-CitySearch announced Monday that it has successfully folded 43 Microsoft SideWalk City sites into its network and will introduce its fully-integrated 77-city CitySearch sites this week.

TMCS bought the 43 SideWalk City sites from Microsoft in July for $240 million (US$) in stock. Microsoft received a nine percent stake in TMCS with an option to increase the investment to 13 percent.

Battle With AOL

The acquisition boosted TMCS in its fight with AOL’s Digital City for online city site supremacy. TMCS increased its worldwide city sites from 33 to 77 and opened access to the key American cities of Chicago, Boston, Seattle and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

TMCS said that the new interface gives users access to content, ticket purchases, hotel reservations, extensive shopping services, online auctions, community forums and a whole host of other features.

“The enhanced local content found on CitySearch city guides is now more extensive than that of any other portal, with most of the information being delivered by CitySearch staff who know the ins and outs of their communities,” said company CEO Charles Conn.

A Growing Community

The Pasadena, California-based site has had a busy summer and fall integrating its sites and bulking up content. It recently closed the acquisitions of personal ad sites Match.com and the One and Only Network, making it the largest personal ad provider on the Internet.

Last month, TMCS announced third quarter revenues of $27.4 million, with a loss of $13 million. Its TicketMaster Online unit sold 2.5 million tickets in the quarter, some 15 percent of the total tickets sold by the company.

As part of the deal, TMCS and Microsoft agreed upon a broad-scale relationship that calls for TMCS to deliver its CitySearch arts and entertainment guide to a newly-created MSN local channel.

In May, TMCS and Lycos reached an agreement that makes it the premier arts and entertainment listings provider on its portal.

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