GetGlue Acquired by Competitor in $73 Million Deal

Lauren Indvik
GetGlue-Viggle Merger Canceled
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[More from Mashable: ‘Once Upon a Time’ Breaks GetGlue Record]

In an unexpected move, Viggle Inc., a 2-year-old company that describes itself as a "popular television loyalty service," has acquired social TV check-in app GetGlue for a mix of cash and stock, both companies announced Monday morning.

Viggle is paying $25 million in cash and 48.3 million shares of stock for the startup, placing the value of the transaction at approximately $73 million. It's not yet clear whether GetGlue will retain its name and brand identity. GetGlue CEO Alex Iskold will assume a "senior executive position" and board of directors role at Viggle, according to a public statement issued by both companies. All 34 GetGlue employees will join Viggle.

[More from Mashable: Unlock Mashable’s GetGlue Sticker]

The acquisition comes as something of a surprise, given that Viggle is a much younger and lesser-known brand. GetGlue, which was launched in 2007, has 3.2 million registered users, while Viggle, which was founded in mid-2010 and launched its social check-in app a little less than a year ago, has 1.2 million.

The two companies were previously considered competitors in the "second screen space," as both offered virtual and tangible rewards, like gift cards, for check-ins and other forms of engagement with TV programs. Their combined scale -- both in users and network partnerships -- will help them take a lead in an increasingly crowded market, Viggle CEO Robert F.X. Sillerman indicated in a statement.

How Viggle will afford GetGlue is another matter. The company reported a loss of $96.5 million on revenues of $1.7 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, according to an 10-K filing with the SEC. In fact, Viggle can't even afford to acquire GetGlue: The deal will only close if the company can successfully raise $60 million in debt financing, Greg Consiglio, president and COO of Viggle, told me.

Inside GetGlue’s Fun-Filled Office

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GetGlue is a sticker paradise. Huge variants of GetGlue stickers adorn the walls of the office from the elevator to the break room.

Click here to view this gallery.

This story originally published on Mashable here.