Ask.com acquires Ask.fm

Ask.com, an operating business of IAC, has acquired Ask.fm, the Q&A social network. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This acquisition extends Ask.com’s Q&A brand leadership to Ask.fm’s massive mobile-focused social platform,” said Doug Leeds, chief executive officer, Ask.com. “It’s a natural entry into a market segment and platform where Ask.com has been looking to expand.”

Ask.fm was not previously affiliated in any way with Ask.com or its parent company IAC. In connection with the transaction, existing outside Ask.fm investor Rubylight will retain a minority interest in the business. Ask.fm’s founders will no longer be involved in its operations or retain any equity. Catherine Teitelbaum, former director of global safety and product policy for Yahoo!, has been appointed Chief Trust and Safety Officer at Ask.fm. Annie Mullins will lead Ask.fm’s safety efforts in the United Kingdom and Europe, working closely with Teitelbaum.

In connection with pursuing the acquisition, Ask.com partnered with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler in the creation of parallel agreements under which Ask.fm will implement a set of best practices focused on increasing the safety of its services. Announced today, the agreements underscore Ask.com’s commitment to partnering with government and law enforcement in an effort to create a safer and more engaging product experience.

“Today’s agreement shows once again that regulators can work with technology companies both to encourage innovation and protect consumers, including our youngest digital citizens,” said Attorney General Schneiderman in a statement today. “I applaud Ask.com’s leadership in working with our office to design a program that protects Ask.fm users from cyberbullying and other harmful content. We would hope that this collaboration serves as a useful model for other companies in the digital space.”

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