IGN’s parent company buys Kotaku publisher

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This follows Gawker filing for bankruptcy today

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Ziff Davis, an internet media conglomerate and owner of IGN, has bought Gawker Media Group. Details of the sale haven’t been disclosed, but reports from earlier today state that Ziff Davis had a firm bid to buy Gawker and all of its assets for less than $100 million. All seven of Gawker’s established media brands, including gaming site Kotaku, were included in the sale.

This comes directly on the heels of Gawker filing for bankruptcy today. The petition filed in New York district court estimates that Gawker has between $50 million and $100 million in assets, and between $100 million and $500 million of debt. The highly publicized loss of a jury trial to plaintiff Hulk Hogan stemming from publication of a personal sex tape is the overwhelming reason for Gawker’s debt. If the bankruptcy is approved, it’ll help partially shield Gawker from this judgment.

It does, however, seem odd that Ziff would be willing to buy a company that’s still very much embroiled in a messy tangle of litigation. Gawker intends to appeal the Hogan verdict, likely as high into the justice system as it takes. This is all speculation, but that may be the reason Ziff was able to buy for what looks to have been a low-ball price. Or, it may speak volumes to the desperation of Gawker’s situation.

As the sale has just happened, we don’t yet know how it will impact the operation of any of the Gawker brands or how it will affect any of the writers at those sites. Kotaku just shared a post stating that it’ll move forward without any changes and that it’s “business as usual.” As a scrappy independently-owned website, we can certainly sympathize with Gawker and appreciate its steadfast unwillingness to sell until it literally had no other choice. We wish the best for everyone at Gawker and hope that this tumultuous time is as un-tumultuous for them as possible.

Gawker Files For Bankruptcy As It Faces $140 Million Court Penalty [NPR]

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Brett Makedonski
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