First Microsoft, now Corbis is getting some government love:
Posted by Bill Stilwell at August 01, 2000 12:00 AM
What had been a dowdy business has become a battleground between Corbis and Getty, companies controlled by two of the richest families on earth. Over the past several years, the two firms have been gobbling up smaller stock companies and now control at least 135 million images. The attraction is simple: With the digitization of images and the elimination of costly storage and shipping costs, photo supplying has become a much more inviting business. And given the Web's bottomless appetite for content -- as well as continuing revenues from old media -- a nice collection of photos can reap a nice heap of money.
Ridgely Evers, CEO of Exactly Vertical, which offers photographers business management software, is not alone in foreseeing a future where buyers will become habituated to using just one or two photographic superstores. And many photographers allege that because Getty and Corbis effectively control both the fees paid to photographers and the prices for images -- in addition to many of the most valuable images around -- they are scaling themselves into an oligopoly.