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Zillow, Trulia Get All-Clear on Merger

puzzle-coming-togetherZillow announced Friday afternoon that it expects to close the acquisition of San Francisco-based online real estate site Trulia by February 17, following the announcement of the conclusion of a Federal Trade Commission investigation.

Zillow first announced its intention to acquire Trulia in July 2014 in a stock-for-stock transaction. At the close of the market Friday, the transaction was worth $2.3 billion (49.4 million shares multiplied by $47.29 per share). According to Zillow, the deal was worth $3.5 billion at the time it was announced in July.

According to a release from Zillow, Trulia CEO and co-founder Pete Flint will remain in his current position and will report to Zillow CEO Spender Rascoff. Flint also plans to join the combined company's Board of Directors.

Also in Friday's announcement, Zillow reported that its fourth quarter 2014 overall revenue of $92.3 million represented a 58 percent year-over-year increase, up from $58.3 million in Q4 2013. The company's marketplace revenue increased by 69 percent year-over-year in Q4, from $46.2 million up to $78.2 million.

"Simply stated, 2014 was a remarkable year for Zillow with record revenue, record mobile usage and record Premier Agent advertiser revenue," Rascoff said. "And we expect to close the acquisition of Trulia as early as February 17."

A representative from Trulia referred questions to Zillow when reached by email.

"Trulia and Zillow have a shared mission and vision of empowering consumers while helping real estate agents, brokerages and franchisors benefit from technological innovation," Flint said last July when the transaction was announced. "By working together, we will be able to create even more value for home buyers, sellers, and renters, as well as create a robust marketing platform that will help our industry partners connect with potential clients and grow their businesses even more efficiently. Our two companies share complementary employee cultures with innovative, consumer-first philosophies and a deep commitment to create the best products and services for our industry partners."

According to Zillow, the combined company will retain the Trulia brand and maintain two distinct consumer brands that will allow the combined company to "continue to offer differentiated products and user experiences." The two brands currently have limited consumer overlap, Zillow said.

Zillow said expected benefits of the Trulia acquisition include faster innovation, greater access to free real estate market data, broader distribution, enhanced value and ROI for advertisers, and corporate costs savings. By 2016, Zillow management said it expects to achieve at least $100 million in annualized cost avoidances.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing. He is a contributing writer for MReport. An East Texas Native, he has studied abroad in Athens, Greece and works part-time as a photographer.

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