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Big Changes at Brightsolid

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


OneFootInTheGrave Report 30 Aug 2013 06:51

Genes reunited is part of the Brightsolid family.

DC Thomson, the Dundee-based publisher, is reorganising its online subsidiary, brightsolid. I wonder if this will mean that we will see more changes on GR site.

It is to split the genealogy division from online technology, including cloud computing.

DC Thomson has hired Annelies van den Belt as chief executive of brightsolid online publishing (BSOP). She has been chief executive at SUP, a Russian digital publisher, having previously worked for the Telegraph Media Group and News International, and having overseen the launch of

BSOP owns some of the biggest genealogy sites in Europe, including, and Friends Reunited. It has 18m registered users.


JustJohn Report 30 Aug 2013 07:26

Thanks for this thread, OFG. 18m registered users (hmmm!). At least they don't insult those users by calling them "customers"

I do hope they appoint a technical boffin who has some idea about customer involvement and customer support. Someone who revisits what GR have "accomplished" over last couple of years, reverses a bit and then sticks it in "forward gear".


Mersey Report 30 Aug 2013 08:09

Time will tell.....and tell and tell and tell :-D ;-) as I get the Error message 4 times to post this post :-P


RolloTheRed Report 30 Aug 2013 08:35

D C Thompson are a pretty ruthless company who have always done whatever it takes to keep the group alive e.g. the recent axing of "The Dandy".

BrightSolid are essentially a business services group tightly tied into Microsoft technology. That makes sense for their core business but is one of the reasons for the less than stellar performance of all of the genealogy products including GRu.

GRu has already hired a top CRM manager, Andrew -, about two years ago. He does not seem to have made a lot of progress.

It does not take a top penguin to work out that selling essentially the same product twice is not the most cost effective plan.

Some sort of GRu/FMP merger merger looks very much on the cards.


OneFootInTheGrave Report 30 Aug 2013 10:40

RolloTheRed - I totally agree with your comment that "Some sort of GRu/FMP merger merger looks very much on the cards"

I hinted at that, quite some time back, from what I picked out of the bones of a discussion I had with a friend who works for one of the Brightsolid satellites ;-)

No doubt time will tell so we will need to wait and see what comes out in the wash.


JoyBoroAngel Report 30 Aug 2013 11:33

what it will mean is

less staff and higher subs for us to pay :-0 :-0


DIZZI Report 30 Aug 2013 11:40



LadyScozz Report 30 Aug 2013 12:20

I think it means.................... SNAFU :-D


Island Report 30 Aug 2013 15:00

What is SN please Scozz :-D


wisechild Report 30 Aug 2013 15:15

Probably accounts for why Genes take absolutely no notice of complaints about the site. :-0


eRRolSheep Report 30 Aug 2013 15:20

Island - Situation Normal


RolloTheRed Report 30 Aug 2013 18:34

If you want to rob people it is easier with a smile.


eRRolSheep Report 30 Aug 2013 18:35

Works for me


JoyDean Report 30 Aug 2013 18:51

Big Changes Announced at brightsolid and FindMyPast


SylviaInCanada Report 30 Aug 2013 19:13

I've long been of the opinion that a merging of GR and fmp is very possible, and possibly even intended from the beginning.

They have to convince the powers that be that GR is not viable, because of an assurance previously given that the two sites would be kept separate


eRRolSheep Report 30 Aug 2013 19:39

brightsolid were referred to the Competition Commission (they used to be known as the Monopolies and Mergers Commission) by the Office of Fair Trading when they took over Friends Reunited (et al) back in 2009.

The concern back then was that "The proposed acquisition would see the three main providers of online genealogy services reduced to two, and we are concerned this could lead to a reduction in choice or service for consumers. We are therefore referring the merger to the Competition Commission for a fuller inquiry".

When the decision about the acquisition was announced in 2010, the Competition Commission said in its report that it did not believe that there would be a substantial lessening of competition (SLC) as a result of the merger.

Its report concluded...

"We conclude:
(a) Given the differentiation in the product offerings of Genes and FMP, the limited overlap between them and the other strong constraints on prices that would remain irrespective of the merger, there is currently at most only a limited degree of competitive constraint between Genes and FMP; nor is that competitive constraint between the two parties expected to have increased in the absence of the merger. The unilateral effects of the merger may not, therefore, be expected to result in an SLC (paragraph 6.37).
(b) There is no reason to expect coordinated effects to result from the merger (paragraph 6.47).
(c) We do not expect the merger to give rise to any market foreclosure that would reduce competition between retailers of online genealogy services by any effects on the supply of genealogical data to those retailers (paragraph 6.65).
We therefore see no reason to expect any price increases or other deterioration in product offering to occur as a result of the merger. There is also the potential for the merger to have pro-competitive effects on prices (paragraph 6.27), but our conclusion is not (and does not need to be) based on any expectation that the merger would necessarily result in price reductions. We have also noted the scope for new entry into the supply of online genealogy services (paragraph 6.78).
7.2 We therefore conclude that the merger may not be expected to result in an SLC."

(SLC - substantial lessening of competition)

According to the current news releases, "Annelies van den Belt, the former head of, has been hired to head Brightsolid Online Publishing (BSOP) and will head and, two of the largest genealogy businesses in Europe, and will also manage the findmypast brand in the US market."

Now, who owned Friends Reunited (and thus GR) before brightsolid?


Thelma Report 30 Aug 2013 20:25


SylviaInCanada Report 30 Aug 2013 20:28



they bought it from the original developers of FR, GR, and 3 other sites in 2007.