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The dark side of the SkyMall catalog

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SkyMall
SkyMall

If you've taken a US flight in the last couple decades, there's a pretty good chance you've encountered the ubiquitous SkyMall catalog. It's like the in-flight version of a train wreck — you know there's almost nothing in the pages that should interest you, but you can't look away. But despite the fact that the company has been reasonably successful over the last decade, with an estimated yearly revenue of $130 million and high rates for placement in its catalog, SkyMall recently merged with a company that Rohin Dhar of The Atlantic called "more of a parody of a tech company than a real company at all." Dhar's report digs into SkyMall's relationship with Xhibit Corp., a company that throws lots of trendy terms like "cloud based technology" and "online and mobile social media management" around without actually showing off any products. "Most of how the company presents itself is vaporware," Dhar says, and it actually makes most of its money from selling sketchy weight-loss products. The question remains: How did SkyMall get tied up with Xhibit, and does it stand a chance of surviving this merger?