LOS ANGELES — Shockwave.com says it will acquire Internet short film distributor AtomFilms to form a new company in an attempt to dominate the struggling Internet entertainment field.
Shockwave.com, a private company based in San Francisco, will acquire Seattle-based AtomFilms in a stock swap, the companies said in a joint announcement Friday. AtomFilms shareholders will own 30 percent of the yet-to-be-named new company.
Shockwave.com is owned by Macromedia Inc., a public company, which will own the rest of the new company along with several private investors.
Rob Burgess, chairman and chief executive officer of Macromedia and chairman of Shockwave.com will be chairman of the new company.
Mika Salmi, founder and chief executive officer of AtomFilms, will be CEO.
Shockwave CEO Lawrence Levy will serve in a strategic advisory role through the transition, the companies said.
The new company will be based in San Francisco.
Shockwave.com produces online animated entertainment using “Flash,” a computer animation program. Director Tim Burton, the creators of the cable program “South Park” and others have created programs for the site.
AtomFilms licenses and distributes short films and animation.
Each company has approximately 150 employees.
Internet entertainment sites are struggling to attract viewers and become profitable. Earlier this year, the Digital Entertainment Network folded after failing to create a Web-based network for online shows. Last month, Icebox.com, which uses top tier television writers to create animated shows, cut its staff by half.
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