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Economy Forces More Shuffling in Stock Photography Industry


As the financial crisis deepened this winter, several stock photo agencies were forced to restructure or close.

Following its $96 million purchase of the Jupiterimages agency in February, stock photo conglomerate Getty Images laid off 110 employees, 5 percent of its total workforce, in March and closed several Jupiterimages branches in the United States.

Getty says it plans to maintain all Jupiterimages offices in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and will retain the Jupiterimages brand worldwide.

Also in March, Getty announced the temporary suspension of matching investments for employee 401(k) retirement plans. At press time, no reinstallation date for this program had been set.
The moves at Getty are the latest of several acquisitions and reorganizations at the company since 2006. Getty, which was acquired in 2008 by private-equity firm Hellman & Friedman, is currently the largest stock photo company in the United States.

Last December, Superstock.com declared bankruptcy and was auctioned off to Blend, Glow Images and RubberBall for $2.8 million. Another image company, Seattle-based Corbis, cut 15 percent of its workforce in 2008 after acquiring the stock image site Veer.