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wait, what? Warner Bros. now owns Rotten Tomatoes

I just received this press release:

WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT GROUP TO ACQUIRE FLIXSTER

COMPANY WILL CONTINUE TO OPERATE INDEPENDENTLY AND SERVE AS CONSUMER-FACING PLATFORM FOR WARNER BROS.’ INITIATIVES TO DRIVE DIGITAL CONTENT OWNERSHIP

ACQUISITION INCLUDES POPULAR “ROTTEN TOMATOES” MOVIE REVIEW SITE

BURBANK, Calif., May 4, 2011 – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group today announced an agreement to acquire Flixster, a highly popular movie discovery application company with over 25 million worldwide users per month. The acquisition also includes Rotten Tomatoes, a top website devoted to film reviews, information and news. Under the terms of the deal, Flixster will continue to operate independently and will expand its services beyond movie discovery to enable digital content ownership and delivery across any connected digital device.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group will utilize the powerful Flixster brand and technical expertise to launch a number of initiatives designed to grow digital content ownership, including the recently announced consumer application “Digital Everywhere.” This studio-agnostic application will be the ultimate destination for consumers to organize and access their entire digital library from anywhere on the device of their choice, as well as to share recommendations and discover new content. The Flixster acquisition and “Digital Everywhere,” combined with the Studio’s support of the UltraViolet format are all part of an overall strategy to give consumers even more freedom, utility and value for their digital purchases.

Okay, so Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes will continue to be “independent”… but will they suddenly have priority access to news and trailers and other goodies related to Warner Bros. films?

And that’s just the first thing that pops to mind as a potential side effect of this.

Net content is getting more and more consolidated into corporate hands. This cannot be a good thing.


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