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Corbis snaps up more images

The Bill Gates-owned firm is competing with Getty Images in the market for digital images.

Corbis, a firm privately held by Bill Gates, today acquired Saba Press Photos, firing another volley in its ongoing battle with Getty Images in the emerging market for digital images.

Corbis and Saba, a privately held international stock photography agency, did not disclose terms of the deal.

The acquisition comes just days after Getty Images, which is owned by Mark Getty--heir to part of the Getty oil fortune--agreed to buy Visual Communications Group for $200 million in cash.

Getty and Corbis have been trying to outmaneuver each other for several years by acquiring smaller players.

Yesterday's acquisition by Getty Images will bring its collection to 70 million pictures and 27,000 hours of film. Meanwhile, today's move by Corbis brings its collection to 65 million images, 2.1 million of which are available online.

Saba represents photographers worldwide for editorial assignments in news and feature stories, and portraits. The company also specializes in corporate photography and advertising.

Saba will remain in New York under the continued direction of Marcel Saba. It will distribute its images by integrating with the Corbis' sales and distribution systems.