Our reflexive googling of scary health symptoms is a billion-dollar business for a private-equity giant

Diagnosis: Takeover.

Health information portal WebMD has sold itself to private equity group KKR, for $2.8 billion. That values the company’s shares near an all-time high since its listing in 2005, which is good going for a firm that tried and failed to sell itself in 2012, and often found itself under examination by activist investors—Carl Icahn and George Soros among them—looking to give it a shot in the arm.

WebMD has a unique position at the convergence of two megatrends,...

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