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RealTime IT News
Corbis Acquires Top News Photo Agency
By John Lewell
June 15, 1999

Microsoft subsidiary Corbis Corp. Tuesday announced it acquired Sygma, the world's largest news photography agency, for an undisclosed sum.

The acquired company will operate as a division named Corbis Sygma and maintain offices in New York, Paris and London, where Eliane Laffont, Jean-Marc Smadja, and Helen Finney, respectively, will continue to oversee operations.

Corbis Sygma adds more than 40 million images, bringing the total to 65 million, making Corbis the largest image collection in the world. Of this total, 2.1 million images are already online.

"With our acquisition of Sygma, Corbis has amassed a collection of true breadth and depth, adding real-time news imagery to our celebrity, contemporary, historical, and fine art imagery," said Steve Davis, president of Corbis.

Corbis plans to create a new digital platform for offering real-time news imagery over the Internet. It has indicated that it will soon be announcing partnerships with leading news media and technology companies to determine the best ways of producing and distributing digital photojournalism.

"The Internet is a perfect platform for selling and distributing current news content to the commercial publishing market," said Jean-Marc Smadja, general manager, Corbis Sygma Paris. "By combining Sygma's extraordinary collection with Corbis' leadership in digital technologies, we will become the leading force in the contemporary news marketplace."