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The Media

After Bankrupting Gawker, Peter Thiel Demands a Chance to Buy Them (buzzfeed.com) 149

An anonymous reader quotes BuzzFeed: In a federal bankruptcy court filing on Wednesday, lawyers for venture capitalist Peter Thiel objected to the ongoing sale process of Gawker.com, arguing that the billionaire has been unfairly excluded from bidding for the assets of the defunct news website... Whoever ends up buying the site will also buy its archives, which are still up, and will have the right to do with them what they want, including delete them. In the filing, Thiel's lawyers allege that he was prevented from receiving information in regard to a potential bid for Gawker.com by plan administrator William Holden and his counsel, Gregg Galardi, following a Wall Street Journal story in October that said Holden and Galardi had started to market the website to potential buyers...

The Wall Street Journal reported that Holden has been exploring the sale of Gawker.com since July, and that he recently marketed the site's potential legal claims against Thiel as part of its appeal. The marketing of those claims is at the center of Thiel's complaint, in which his lawyers argue that Holden should not be able to conduct a sale of those claims and ask that the court drop a motion that allows for discovery to move forward. Thiel's representatives also said that they contacted those administrating the sale of Gawker.com last month "to express Mr. Thiel's interest in participating in the sale process," but that they had been rebuffed and then ignored.

Thiel's complaint calls him the "most able and logical purchaser."
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After Bankrupting Gawker, Peter Thiel Demands a Chance to Buy Them

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  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Saturday November 25, 2017 @08:59PM (#55622537) Journal
    Say what you will.

    Thiel may be easy to dislike, but he beat Gawker like a rented mule.

    • Say what you will.

      Thiel may be easy to dislike, but he beat Gawker like a rented mule.

      You must be from the 'Burgh.

      • One could say Thiel also:

        Smoked them like a bad cigar.
        Scratched their back with a hacksaw.
        Their face was shaved with a rusty razor.
        Gawker doesn't know whether to cry or wind their watches.

        At any rate, when it comes to Gawker, one could say Elvis has left the building.

        • One could say Thiel also:

          Smoked them like a bad cigar. Scratched their back with a hacksaw. Their face was shaved with a rusty razor. Gawker doesn't know whether to cry or wind their watches.

          At any rate, when it comes to Gawker, one could say Elvis has left the building.

          Buy Thiel a drink, and get his dog one too!

          Anyhow, let us now give thanks to Toronto for gifting us Kessel.

          • Ahem, that is 2 time Stanley Cup winner Phil Kessel.

            • Ahem, that is 2 time Stanley Cup winner Phil Kessel.

              Buy Kessel as many hotdogs as he wants.

              This is fun - I suspect most Slashdotters have no idea what the heck we're talking about.

    • by Wuhao ( 471511 ) on Saturday November 25, 2017 @09:39PM (#55622699)

      I'd phrase it more like, Thiel paid for people to sue them for their repeated wrong-doings, until one day Gawker finally said "WHAT, YOU THINK YOU CAN HURT US? YOU CAN'T HURT US IF WE KILL OURSELVES FIRST" and then they proceeded to publicly antagonize the judge, violate court orders, knowingly misrepresent their finances to the court and testify under oath that they'd publish child porn. And that's just the highlight reel.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Depends on the money that buys it. With the right connections, they can buy dirt Gawker dirt cheap, and then use their already bought judges, to flip the case and voilà top investment and Thiel meets the vicousness old money, which is why he likely wants buy.

  • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Saturday November 25, 2017 @09:43PM (#55622715)
    This is merely an excellent way to acquire new businesses. If the math is there, and you want it, Bankrupt the business first, then buy it. My free market senses are tingling with the new business model. What is more, it is approved in the Holy Bible - reference Uriah the Hittite, killed by King David, who was already yencing Uriah's wife, knocked her up, and after having Uriah out of the way, married her. So all is good.
    • by Bigbutt ( 65939 ) on Saturday November 25, 2017 @10:02PM (#55622781) Homepage Journal

      It's not news actually. Back in 89 I was working for a computer company that made flip-up cases for PCs. The owner was looking for funding an a lawyer came along and said he'd line it up. The owner made purchases based on the agreement but the lawyer bailed on it leaving the owner holding the bag and the business going under. The owner was rumored to have bailed after finding out this is what the lawyer did; offer funding, bail on it, then swoop in and buy the assets after the business goes bust. We lost our last 6 weeks of pay trying to stick it out.

      [John]

      • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Sunday November 26, 2017 @12:37AM (#55623243) Journal

        Microsoft perfected that process back in the day. They'd make a great offer for a company's technology. Microsoft would agree to buy X units, at a price very profitable to the company, after they made a few improvements or integrations with Microsoft's other software. Of course, the target company wasn't allowed to sell to anyone else during that period. In the fine print Microsoft would get right of first refusal if the company was ever sold.

        The company would work to make the improvements and integrations Microsoft asked for, unable to take any other customers during that time. When it came time for Microsoft to accept delivery, they'd sit on it for a month and not reply. Then they'd decline delivery, asking for more changes. When that run-around finally ended they'd eventually have to accept delivery, so then they sit in making the payment. Sometimes the contract might call for a late fee, which doesn't matter when they aren't paying anyway. A year after the contract was signed, without being allowed to sell to any other customers and having not been paid by Microsoft, the company would go under. The owners might well be behind on their mortgage at this point. That's when Microsoft would offer to buy the company for a pittance. They did the same dance over and over again.

      • The movie version was called Pacific Heights [wikipedia.org].
    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Sunday November 26, 2017 @01:31AM (#55623353)
      The anger directed at Thiel over the Gawker case is reminiscent of the anger about the DNC's hacked emails. Those who are angry completely overlook that if Gawker/the DNC hadn't done anything wrong, there wouldn't have been any fallout in the first place. Gawker never would've been sued for publishing Bollea's sex tape. There would've been no evidence of the Democratic party leadership tampering with the primary process. They don't want to hear the message, so they do their best to ignore it and try to shoot the messenger.

      If Thiel had bought judges to engineer some grave miscarriage of justice, I'd have some sympathy for Gawker. But the fundamental truth is most people don't think the right to a free press includes the right to publicize a sex tape recorded without consent. Literally everyone can see themselves somehow winding up in Bollea's (Hulk Hogan's) situation, and they do not want anyone, even the press, to have the right to publicize that tape without their consent. That, plain and simple, is why Gawker lost in a jury trial. That's what bankrupted them, not Thiel helping pay for the lawsuit.

      If you don't want to be bankrupted, don't do stupid, illegal, or ethically questionable things which could bankrupt you. This above all: to thine own self be true. Follow that rule and the only thing you have to worry about is being framed. I think Wikileaks is biased and disagree with its MO, but that doesn't mean I automatically side with the people whose stupid, illegal, or ethically questionable secrets Wikileaks reveals. On the contrary I usually think those people are despicable for doing those stupid, illegal, or ethically questionable things.
      • The hilarity is that all the people screaming about gamergate, the alt-right, neonazis, and trying to cast gawker as a martyr for freedom of the press are the exact same people who lost their shit over the fappening. They're perfectly alright with publishing stolen sex tapes and nudes... as long as it's not of an attractive woman.

        • The hilarity is that all the people screaming about gamergate, the alt-right, neonazis, and trying to cast gawker as a martyr for freedom of the press are the exact same people who lost their shit over the fappening. They're perfectly alright with publishing stolen sex tapes and nudes... as long as it's not of an attractive woman.

          Talk about a thread hijack. Trying to figure out how my pointing out the financial advantages of bankrupting a business, then buying it at firesale price is somehow related to GamerGate , NeoNazis, or whatever the fuck the fappening is. What's next, Dogs and cats living together?

          Hell, that vicegrip process is roughly how I bought my house. Took a downturn in the local economy, and a house that had been sitting a while for sale. The owners had built a new house, and were in a bit of financial trouble with

          • It's not a hijack in the slightest, this is directly on the subject of people condemning what's happened to gawker as if it were some kind of tragic martyrdom of the last bastion of the free press.

      • The anger directed at Thiel over the Gawker case is reminiscent of the anger about the DNC's hacked emails. Those who are angry completely overlook that if Gawker/the DNC hadn't done anything wrong, there wouldn't have been any fallout in the first place. Gawker never would've been sued for publishing Bollea's sex tape. There would've been no evidence of the Democratic party leadership tampering with the primary process. They don't want to hear the message, so they do their best to ignore it and try to shoot the messenger.

        I hear your message - maybe not the one you intended. You do know that both parties were hacked don't you? You do know that the Republican Party actively tries to ensure that only the "right" Republicans are representing. Google "war on moderate Republicans". Both parties pull this crap. Are you pleased that only the DNC hack has been made public?

        My statement has not Republican or Democrat content, there are many different color crayons in the box. I have no dog in this fight, merely point out a financi

  • Billionaire whining that he can't buy the critics he used his wealth to destroy in the first place. One of the more despicable things I've seen in my life. (And there's been a lot of competition for that lately.)

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