Experian Launches Interactive Division, Buys LowerMyBills.com

Data giant Experian demonstrated its commitment to online marketing in a dramatic way Wednesday. It bundled its online businesses into an interactive division while simultaneously announcing the $380 million purchase of lead generation player and major online advertiser LowerMyBills.com.

The company is paying $330 million initially for the buy, and may pay up to $50 million more in a performance-related earn-out over the next two years. Experian didn’t divulge any more details of the deal’s terms, and representatives could not be reached by press time.

“Through our portfolio of Web sites, we will be able to connect consumers with businesses whose products and services offer the best solutions for these important [financial] decisions,” said Ed Ojdana, group president for the newly formed Experian Interactive, in a statement.

LowerMyBills.com refers consumers to more than 400 businesses in 17 service categories, including home loans, credit cards, long-distance and wireless services, and auto and health insurance.

All of Santa Monica, Calif.-based LowerMyBills’ employees and management will be folded into Experian Interactive. Other companies in the division include Experian Consumer Direct, MetaReward and Affiliate Fuel. The first of those provides credit reports directly to consumers, while the second two are pay-for-performance online marketing players.

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