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MTV Networks announced that it has acquired IFILM, the leading, Internet provider of short films and news and other video clips, for $49 million, reports REUTERS. As part of the deal, IFILM will remain under the control of its current ceo, Blair Harrison, and will retain its editorial independence.

MTV plans to grow IFILM's current reach to more than 10 million users a month and boost advertising revenues by cross-promoting IFILM on other MTV-owned websites and offering MTV content on IFILM.

"They are growing well on their own, but clearly we have inventory online to help bolster the brand and their traffic," Jason Hirschhorn, MTV's svp of digital music and media. "The idea wasn't to MTV-ize IFILM but to ingest a new brand and to give that new brand world renown.

MTV Networks, which is owned by media company Viacom Inc, operates music and youth culture TV networks around the world as well as a host of websites. It recently acquired Neopets, an online community of digital pets.

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Rick DeMott
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