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Thanks but No Thanks, Maker Studios Tells Relativity

We've already sold to Disney.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Last night film studio Relativity Studios announced that it, too, wanted to buy Maker Studios, the YouTube network that Disney is about to acquire.

Here’s Maker’s answer: No, thank you — we’ve already sold.

The (slightly) longer version is here, via a press release Maker issued this afternoon:

“As per the announcement made on March 24, Maker Studios has entered into a merger agreement with The Walt Disney Company. The agreement has been approved by Maker Studios’ Board of Directors and the majority of its shareholders and is expected to close in the next few weeks, subject to regulatory approval.”

Disney is paying $500 million in cash for Maker, and could conceivably shell out another $450 million if the company hits certain goals after the acquisition. Depending on which report you read, Relativity was offering somewhere between $900 million and $1.1 billion, primarily in stock, and about half of which would be paid up front.

Meanwhile, the aftershocks of the Maker deal continue to reverberate around Hollywood and the Web video world, as investors and startups try to figure out whether Web video companies are suddenly worth much more than they thought.

One very obvious company to keep an eye on: Fullscreen, which like Maker also runs a very big video network, and has already been backed by the Chernin Group and Comcast. Comcast owns NBCUniversal, which is an investor in Re/code.

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