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Rivals IDG, Ziff Davis Enterprise form pact

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It’s akin to Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann agreeing to host a show together.

Once mortal enemies in the competitive b-to-b tech publishing space, units of IDG and Ziff Davis Enterprise formed a partnership earlier this month to work together on several initiatives.

In the first phase of the pact, ZDE’s Developer Shed Network, a portfolio of Web sites and online resources for the developer community, will join the IDG TechNetwork, an online ad network of more than 200 non-IDG publishers. Ziff Davis Enterprise said its Developer Shed Network attracts 8 million unique monthly visitors.

“That’s a very good example of how the Internet has created ‘frenemies’ or ‘coopetition,’ to use those hackneyed phrases,” said Jeff Dearth, partner at media investment bank DeSilva & Phillips. “Ten years ago with a deal like this, everybody would have wondered what was going on; but these days, it’s routine.”

“Ziff Davis Enterprise continues to explore and invest in new ways to serve our editorial audience as well as our advertisers,” Ziff Davis Enterprise CEO Steve Weitzner said.

Peter Longo, CEO of IDG Syndication and Networks added: “The Developer Shed Network is an important addition to the IDG TechNetwork, given its content and reputation in the developer community. We look forward to continuing to grow our relationship with Ziff Davis Enterprise in the coming months.”

Longo said there is a lot of “cross-pollination” between the IDG and ZDE organizations. Longo himself worked at Ziff Davis for 13 years, chiefly in the 1990s. “We reached out to gauge their interest, and they seemed willing to have a conversation,” he said, describing how the partnership between IDG and ZDE got started.

“Culturally, we couldn’t even have imagined this five or 10 years ago,” Weitzner said, “but things change.”

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