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Web radio service Last.fm has been snapped up by CBS in a $280m (£142m) deal, which is the largest ever UK Web 2.0 acquisition.

The move follows ongoing rumours that Last.fm would be acquired, but Viacom was believed to have been the likely buyer, and at a much higher price of $450m (£226m).

The UK-based site has rapidly grown in popularity over the last few months, mainly by word of mouth, and now has around 15m unique users monthly.

It has recently expanded its service, concluding content deals with major record labels, as well as aiming to build the largest collection of music videos on the internet.

Martin Stiksel of Last.fm told the BBC that the current management team will remain in control, and the company will operate independently of CBS.

He explained CBS's reasons for the move:

"They want to move from a content company to an audience company giving the audiences control and learning from this and that's why Last.fm was their choice."

"The success of the site is the most important thing. With a strong partner we can add the features we always dreamed about."

We are huge fans of Last.fm and hopefully the move should allow the company to deal with possible issues with scalability, as recently the service has been a little up and down.

Well done to Martin and the team.

Graham Charlton

Published 30 May, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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