United Online is withdrawing its proposed IPO of Classmates.com, perhaps the world's most annoying social network. An FTC probe, a weak stock market, weaker financials, and even weaker comparisons to the current crop of social networks means the discount ISP will need to find another way to unload its $100 million purchase. Our suggestion: Just close it down. [CNNMoney]
What do you do if you are the granddaddy of social networks, having been around for more than a decade, but you aren't getting any bounce from the social-network buzz? Shoot for the moon, of course! Classmates.com, acquired by discount Internet service provider United Online for $100 million in 2004, is being spun off in hopes of raising $125 million in an IPO. With the Valley in thrall to social networks, the IPO market heating up, and Facebook's mythical valuation going ever higher, it's the perfect time for United Online to capitalize on the purchase. But what goes up can also go down. Here's how the IPO play could backfire.