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Fox unit confirms Photobucket, Flektor buys

The two online companies have been acquired--not by, but by the social networking site's parent company.

It's official: parent company Fox Interactive Media has formally announced its agreements to acquire image-sharing site Photobucket and slide show mashup creator Flektor. Financial terms of the purchases were not disclosed by Fox Interactive Media, which is a division of media giant News Corp.

Both acquisitions had been rumored for some time. The Photobucket deal, originally reported earlier this month, is inarguably the more significant of the two: Photobucket, after all, is the 34th most visited site on the Web, with over 42 million users and 17 million monthly visitors. Its history with Fox Interactive Media hasn't been smooth: There was well-publicized friction between the two companies when MySpace blocked Photobucket's embeddable video and slide show widgets in April, citing a terms-of-service violation related to a Spider-Man 3 advertising campaign. Later in April, Photobucket announced that an accord had been reached with MySpace, and within weeks, the acquisition rumors began to fly. The rumored price has been about $250 million.

In a post on Photobucket's official blog, co-founder Alex Welch wrote that "we expect nothing to change in our day-to-day operations," and that "the plan is to operate Photobucket as an independent, standalone company within FIM."

As for Flektor, reputedly a $10 million to $20 million purchase for Fox Interactive Media, initial reports circulated on TechCrunch several weeks ago. Flektor, which lets people edit audio, video and photos to create their own embeddable slide shows, was founded just last year.

Photobucket and Flektor, however, will not become MySpace properties as many of the early reports had hinted; they'll instead be Fox Interactive Media brands, alongside MySpace as well as and Rotten Tomatoes.