The Athletic, New York Times Reportedly End Acquisition Talks

    • Negotiations between the two sides reportedly broke down over money and how to compensate employees.
    • The Athletic has now been linked to possible deals with The New York Times, Vox, and Axios.

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The reported acquisition talks between The Athletic and the New York Times are no more.

The Athletic, a subscription-only startup valued at around $475 million, has also been linked to possible deals with Vox and Axios.

Negotiations between the sports site and The New York Times broke down over money and a disagreement on how to compensate The Athletic’s employees for their equity in the company, according to The Information.

The Athletic currently has about 1.2 million subscribers, but growth has slowed down over the past year.

The New York Times has 8 million subscribers and a market cap of $6.8 billion. Its stock closed at $40.32 on Thursday.

In March, the Wall Street Journal reported that The Athletic was in merger talks with Axios. By early May, however, it reported that the sports media outlet “halted” those talks and turned its attention toward the New York Times.

What’s next? Some have speculated that The Athletic could align with a streaming service like Peacock.

“If everyone is buying Peacock because it has a lot of sports content, it would make sense for NBC … to do something,” Dave VanEgmond, an investor who advised The Athletic on its sports betting partnership with BetMGM, told FOS earlier this month.