I guess you can call this another case of over-inflated pricing for domain names. Answers.com has agreed to acquire Lexico, the parent of dictionary.com, thesaurus.com, and reference.com for $100 million. Answers.com's market cap is currently below $100 million, and I doubt there's much cash in the bank for this acquisition, so I assume there's third party financing involved. Well, I just read that they'll be raising the cash by offering a variety of securities like floating more shares, bonds and warrants.
At first strike, it may seem like an expensive domain play. Those are indeed nice names to have in one's portfolio, but there is more to these domains than just their names. They do attract plenty of eyeballs. I myself use dictionary.com often. My choice of online dictionary used to be m-w.com (Merriam-Webster), but I switched when dictionary.com revamped their site and made it a lot more usable and comprehensive. The price seems a bit steep, but it's a calculated gamble. It has success potential, but it'll probably a long-term one.
My only gripe with dictionary.com is the incessant advert pop-unders and their trickery to circumvent the browser pop-up blockers. It would send a great signal if answers.com started the new relationship by getting rid of the annoying pop-ups and go with a more civilized format. How effective can pop-ups possibly be these days, anyways?