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Katz sold to Hachette

8 September 2000 - EPUK

After weeks of denial, subterfuge and pretended trips to country hotels while really doing secret deals in France, Katz Pictures finally signed a deal with Hachette on Wednesday in Paris.

EPUK first exclusively revealed in July that Katz was up for sale to the French publishing giant.

Hachette are number three in the image monopolists league, not up with Getty & Corbis but still exceeding massive. They already own the French agency Gamma and London based Frank Spooner Pictures (FSP).

Today Hachette announced they were acquiring Katz, Stills. Top, Rapho, Explorer, MPA , Ho Qui and Jacana. EPUK understands the Katz purchase includes offshoot Independent Photographers Groups (IPG). Also part of the announcement was Match, the syndication arm of Paris Match.

There is already disquiet amongst some photographers involved with the deal. Hachette appear to believe they have bought the rights to photographers’ archives for the next five years – something apparently not compatible with French law or the position of many contributors.

But Anne Marie Couderc, president of Hachette’s Hafimage division says they will respect photographers. Talking of the organisations just acquired she said, “we will respect the agencies, we will respect the photographers.” And for the future she said, “we are going conquer more territory”.

Another photographer was more upbeat than some colleagues, saying that the difference between Hachette and Corbis was clear. “Hachette is an old family firm which is willing and does respect photographers. Corbis want to shake everything up, that is the difference.

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