Shockwave.com and AtomFilms announced they have signed a definitive merger agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, shockwave.com will acquire AtomFilms in a stock-for-stock deal giving Shockwave shareholders 70% of the combined company. In addition, Macromedia, parent of shockwave.com, will now own less than 50% of the new firm. The combined company will announce its new name at the closing of the deal. AtomFilms' staff in Seattle will move to San Francisco and the combined company will have a staff of 200 people, meaning that 100 employees will be laid off between the two firms after the deal goes through. For the time being, both sites will stay live with cross promotion and linking occurring between the two destinations. Rob Burgess, chairman and CEO of Macromedia and chairman of shockwave.com, will become chairman of the new company. Mika Salmi, the founder and CEO of AtomFilms, will serve as CEO. Matt Hulett, chief marketing and online officer at AtomFilms, will become president. Michael Comish, managing director of Europe, will become president, International. Shockwave.com CEO Lawrence Levy will step down from his post, but will remain in a strategic advisory role through the transition. The merger will combine the content libraries of the two largest Internet firms. In addition, AtomFilms will have the leverage of parent company Macromedia and its Flash animation software to produce animated series. "AtomFilms and shockwave.com were both created to pioneer new forms of consumer entertainment and to develop new business models for content creators," said Burgess. "By joining the energies and talents of these two highly creative companies, we have the potential to change the way people are entertained around the world." Salmi added, "We are excited to merge with shockwave.com to create a dynamic, worldwide entertainment brand. By combining our unique distribution channels, technological expertise, proven business models and award-winning catalogs of content, we are building a new media company without equal."
Read Animation World Magazine's Shockwave profile to find out more about the Internet content giant.