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# Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Ancestry.com to Acquire Archives.com
Posted by Diane

Subscription genealogy site Ancestry.com just announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire competitor Archives.com for approximately $100 million in cash and assumed liabilities.

Archives.com is owned and operated by Inflection LLC, a Silicon Valley-based technology company.

Since Archives.com’s launch in January 2010 (before that, the site was called Genealogy Archives), the site has grown to more than 380,000 paying subscribers who pay approximately $39.95 a year. Archives.com offers access to more than 2.1 billion historical records, including birth records, obituaries, immigration and passenger lists, historical newspapers, and US and UK censuses.

Inflection secured the contract with the National Archives to design and host the archives' website for the 1940 census records, released April 2. Archives.com also is a partner in the 1940 Census Community project, which has FamilySearch volunteers indexing the 1940 census. Ancestry.com is using a paid contractor to create its own 1940 census index. I'm curious to see what happens with this.

From Ancestry.com's press release: "This transaction will enable Ancestry.com to add a differentiated service targeted to a complementary segment of the growing family history category. In addition, Ancestry.com will welcome a team of talented engineers, digital marketers, and family history innovators into the Ancestry.com fold and also gain access to a proprietary technology platform that has supported Archives.com’s rapid growth."

Upon completion of the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration of the HSR waiting period, Ancestry.com will continue to operate Archives.com separately retaining its brand and website. Many Inflection employees are expected to join the Ancestry.com team.

We'll bring you more on this story as it develops.


Ancestry.com | Archives.com | Genealogy Industry
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 4:40:07 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [7]
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 5:06:59 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Sept 2010 Ancestry buys Footnote.com
April 2012 Ancestry buys Archives.com
July 2012 Ancestry buys all remaining competitors
Oct 2012 Ancestry doubles subscription rates
Dec 2012 Google buys Ancestry
I will be assimilated
Thursday, April 26, 2012 10:14:36 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
At what price? ... Because more and more acquisition by genealogists from different countries and continents of any sought by them, and genealogical information from various countries in the "data in exchange for the data" more worthwhile to use the services Ancestry.com
Andrew
Thursday, April 26, 2012 3:37:11 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Could someone please explain how a private company - "Inflection secured the contract with the National Archives to design and host the archives' website for the 1940 census records...." - is allowed to contract with the government to take over public records and then charge people to access them? Then ancestry.com buys that company and mingles the public records with the poorly vetted and non-vetted junk that it sells, and we are back where we were before: if one wants to find accurate information, one has to go to the locality, state, and/or federal offices that have the original records.
Margaret Owen Thorpe
Thursday, April 26, 2012 3:57:39 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Surprise, surprise....
To good to last.
Thursday, April 26, 2012 6:30:33 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I can tell you exactly what will happen. When ancestry.com bought "footnotes, aka fold3.com", it transferred many of it's military records from ancestry.com subscription base to fold3.com - which meant that if one wanted to access the same records previously included in the ancestry.com subscription, one was forced to buy yet another subscription to fold3.com. The same thing will happen with archives.com.

The "segment" of the population ancestry.com seeks will not just be people seeking obits, but people performing "people searches", such as living heirs, finding living relatives, and performing background checks that include employment, criminal and civil records, etc.

Ancestry.com will in turn transfer some of it's records that are now included in their subscription - my guess would be perhaps city directories - just as it has its military records AND obituaries (which also can no longer be viewed or accessed via ancestry.com). Although ancestry.com actually OWNS these other entities, they SAY that "it's not their website, so an additional fee MAY (which means WILL FOR SURE) be required to view the records.

So the racket ancestry.com has going is that it's fast becoming a monopoly in the genealogy records field, but in order to get around that, it buys up these other companies BUT INSTEAD OF MERGING THEM INTO ancestry.com, they're treated as outside entities requiring additional fees.

Ancestry.com's subscription rates continue to rise, but by keeping these other entities separate, they can charge additional fees that add up to a good deal more than most ancestry.com subscribers would be willing to pay for an ancestry.com subscription.

That's what they do and what they will continue to do. In the meantime, their "experts" aren't really very good because the training they receive at Brigham Young U doesn't do a very good job in teaching these people how to research family records. The transcriptions, in particular, are getting really bad - I don't know how many I have to correct anymore, it's mind-boggling. That messes up the search indexes and makes for a much longer and convoluted research project, since many census pages have to be poured over rather than just one - due to SLOPPY transcribing!

Plus, I wouldn't pay one of their "experts" a fig to do any research for me, because in my humble opinion, I'm a far better researcher and "decipherer" of handwriting than most of the young 'KIDS' ancestry.com hires these days. Every time I call about an issue that is non-technical related, I find that I know more than most of these so-called experts.

There needs to be some SERIOUS competition!
Friday, April 27, 2012 12:31:32 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I was wondering about a monopoly myself, McCarty-Kidd. Is there a point where the FTC can intervene or is such an action restricted to telephone companies?

It's only been a few years since Ancestry stripped so many privately owned genealogy websites of all their data and locked the owners out of their own sites, after all. I don't have any expectation of corporate ethics on their part.
RoseyGlow
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 4:04:49 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Hi, Margaret,
To answer your question, the 1940 census records site that Inflection/Archives.com has built for the National Archives is free and will be free even after the Ancestry.com acquisition is finalized. It's not a "take over" of public records--the National Archives still owns the records. The census records also are available free on multiple other sites (including Ancestry.com).

For those wondering about a monopoly, the acquisition has to go through an approval process with regulatory agencies before it can be finalized.
Diane
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