Dow Jones agreed Sunday to acquire the financial news Web site known as CBS.MarketWatch.com and its corporate parent, MarketWatch Inc, for $520 million, CBS.MarketWatch.com reported.

The deal potentially extends The Wall Street Journal’s editorial influence into a news market targeting average consumers and opens a pipeline to Internet-based advertising revenue . The Wall Street Journal is one of the few purely subscription-driven national publications.

Reuters had reportedly invested at least two years in developing a proprietary Web-based news service.

The New York Times and Yahoo! reportedly lost out on the lengthy bidding process for MarketWatch, which Dow Jones cinched Sunday for $18 per share. Shares of Marketwatch grew more than twofold since on rumors of a pending sale that began to surge in August.

Founded in 1997 MarketWatch operates a pair of financial Web sites – CBS.MarketWatch.com and BigCharts.com – and produces financial reports for both CBS television and the MarketWatch Radio Network.

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