Digiday DealBook: Movement within Netflix, Twitter lawsuit developments, Giphy deal still in flux, and more

Welcome to Digiday’s DealBook. Our focus is to create a quick and easy rundown of the deals, acquisitions and hires that took place last week. The goal is to inform and update you on the latest happenings in the industry at the top of your inbox each Monday.  — Carly Weihe

—Since announcing its official advertising partnership with Microsoft, set to launch under a new lower-cost subscription tier early next year, Netflix has announced another virtual fan event with Tudum for Sept. 24. Tudum is a bonus content site owned by Netflix, and this marks the second annual event in partnership. However, Netflix reportedly cut down staffing of Tudum following a less-than-expected return on investment, so it will be interesting to see what the streaming giant will do in year two of this fan event. Netflix also announced it has acquired the animation studio Animal Logic. The deal is expected to close later this year, in which the studio will make exclusive family-friendly content with Netflix in hopes of competing with the biggest brand in kids content, Disney. 

—The judge ruling over the Twitter lawsuit has announced that the trial will take place sooner than expected, a win for the beleaguered social platform. Delaware Chancery Judge McCormick ruled that the trial will commence in October over five days, during which Twitter is suing billionaire Elon Musk for backing out of his proposed $44 billion deal to acquire the company earlier this month. 

—The Competition Markets Authority in the U.K. has now been tasked with reinvestigating the antitrust inquiries following Meta’s moves to acquire Giphy, home to the ever-popular giph, for $315 million in May 2020. The deal has faced many roadblocks since its initial proposal, as this is the second time Meta will meet CMA to try to get the deal approved. 

In other news…

  • Disney struck a development deal with OBB Media to produce documentaries and docuseries. The agreement is non-exclusive and multi-year, with Disney hoping to attract more Gen Z and millennial audiences onto its various platforms.   
  • FaZe Clan, an esports media company, went public in a $725 million SPAC deal this past Wednesday. FaZe Clan comprises of over 100 members, with streamers playing on 11 esports teams, with a strong Gen Z following on Youtube. 
  • Nintendo acquired Dynamo Pictures, allowing the company to expand into film production with its content. The company will rebrand the production company into Nintendo Pictures Co, with the deal set to close this October. 
  • Allen Media Group bought Black Media Channel for $11 million this past week with the intent to revive the bankrupt company after it shut down earlier this year. 
  • Rain the Growth Agency, a DTC advertising agency, has partnered with iSpotTV, a TV measurement company, to enable the agency’s clients to measure their engagement. 

Additionally, below is a list of industry leader hires and promotions

  • Exile Content Studio hired Daniel Batista as Chief Digital Officer
    • He was formerly the managing director of Stormlight Advisory
  • MSCI hired Cristina Bondolowski as Chief Marketing Officer
    • She was formerly the global head of marketing at HP
  • Material hired Laurie MacLaren as COO
    • She was formerly the president of agile growth services
  • XSET, a gaming and lifestyle organization, hired Tim Mulligan as vp, head of sales
    • He was previously the head of strategic accounts at 100 Thieves
  • Jomboy Media hired Andrew Patterson as the company’s first CEO
    • He was previously chief strategy officer at Greenfly
  • Apartment Therapy Media promoted Laura Schocker to CCO
    • She was previously editor in chief at the company

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