Complex Media Acquisition By Verizon/Hearst Greenlit in Europe

Marc Ecko 2016
Courtesy Photo

Marc Ecko 

The European Commission has approved the acquisition of Complex Media by Verizon Hearst Media Partners, the joint-venture launched earlier this year by the communications and media giants. The review found that the proposed purchase raised no competition concerns, given the minimal overlaps between the companies’ activities in the European Economic Area.

According to the Commission's case file on the merger, Complex will produce digital content that it will license to Verizon on a worldwide exclusive basis for three years for use on its own platforms -- like AOL, which Verizon acquired in 2015 -- or by sub-licensing third parties. Verizon anticipates Complex will expand its licensing activities outside the U.S., the form notes.

"This joint venture is designed to take the best practices of the qualitative art of our industry [and join them to] a future-looking, quantitative, analytical approach," Complex co-founder Marc Ecko told Billboard in April following news of the acquisition. "Which Verizon can offer in ways that, if we were to remain independent, we couldn't by ourselves. These are the dimensions that inform our strategy and that made this a very attractive offer for us. Mostly, we're going to do what we do best, focus on our voice, keep pushing forward with our brand and hopefully making really fucking awesome stuff."


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.