FIFA will find it hard to reach a quorum at its annual meeting; tech media’s booming M&A
Morning Brief: Gigaom to be relaunched by Austin-based start-up, FanSided acquired by Time Inc., while Vox Media scoops up Re/code
The annual meeting of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (IFA) may not need as large a room at the swanky Baur au Lac hotel as the organization originally thought as the U.S. Department of Justice today unveiled a 47-count indictment against nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives. The first meet-and-greet session should be quite interesting.
Early this morning, Swiss authorities arrested seven of the defendants charged in the indictment: Jeffrey Webb, Eduardo Li, Julio Rocha, Costas Takkas, Eugenio Figueredo, Rafael Esquivel and José Maria Marin. Also, a search warrant hass being executed at the CONCACAF headquarters in Miami, Florida (picture at below-left via tweet from WSVN-TV).
“The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States,” said Attorney General Lynch in a statement that surprises absolutely no one. “It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.”
“The indictment alleges that, between 1991 and the present, the defendants and their co-conspirators corrupted the enterprise by engaging in various criminal activities, including fraud, bribery and money laundering,” the DOJ said today. “Two generations of soccer officials abused their positions of trust for personal gain, frequently through an alliance with unscrupulous sports marketing executives who shut out competitors and kept highly lucrative contracts for themselves through the systematic payment of bribes and kickbacks. All told, the soccer officials are charged with conspiring to solicit and receive well over $150 million in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for their official support of the sports marketing executives who agreed to make the unlawful payments.”
Now, you may resume your annual meeting, enjoy yourselves.
Yesterday, in case you took an extra day off for the Memorial Day weekend, was quite a day in tech media.
Gigaom assets purchased by Austin-based Internet startup: Knowingly Corp, an Austin-based Internet startup, has purchased the URL and archived content of the tech website. It plans to relaunch the site on August 15, it will take that long to get the site going again as most of the staff already has new jobs, many at Fortune magazine.
Time Inc. acquires FanSided with its 300+ sports websites: FanSided, founded by the brothers Adam and Zack Best, is a collection of sports websites is the model of SB Nation, which is owned by Vox Media. FanSided was already working with Sports Illustrated, so now the task at hand will be to integrate the web property into a legacy media company. Good luck with that. Oh, and speaking of Vox Media…
Vox Media acquires Re/code: Seventeen months after being launched, the tech website Re/code has a new owner. Re/code was founded by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher after The Wall Street Journal and the duo could not agree on a new contract for AllThingsD. The website and conference business will now be integrated into a digital media company that already owns The Verge. Re/code has the star power and the confernences, The Verge has the web traffic.