Talk about a whopper but not totally unexpected. While I was sitting in a presentation of "Microstock Superstars" (panel included Yuri Arcurs, Andres Rodriguez, Lee Torrens, Kelly Cline and Daryl Lang of PDN) today at the PDN PhotoPlus exhibit, I was hit by the news that Getty had struck again and bought another one of its competitors, Jupiter Media (just the image business) for $96 million. That is the 3rd largest player in the industry being eaten up by the largest. It was just last year, Getty was in talks to buy Jupitermedia for a reported $400 million, at least according to Jupiters CEO Alan Meckler. I think Meckler was holding out for the $96 million dollar offer instead.

This is not the largest acquisition by Getty either. If you remember or like me didn't know until a few years ago, they acquired MediaVast (including WireImage) for $202 million and then in 2005 acquired Digital Vision for what was worth $165 million. Chump change to you and me.

In the statement, Getty CEO Jonathan Klein said, "Jupiter Images' customers already appreciate its value-based offerings, and through this acquisition we will be able to offer more content, better technology, more customer service and additional local content. Combining Jupiterimages' product with Getty Images' extensive media assets and global distribution will further enhance Getty Images' offerings and provide more relevant content to both companies' customers while extending the presence of the Jupiterimages brand to customers around the world."

Or said another way, another one bites to the dust and here's to creating monopolies ;-)

Soon there are going to be no other places to license your digital images, videos and vectors but through Getty Images and Cutcaster.

For a brief overview see PDN's coverage.