As Seattle Times business reporter Melissa Allison so aptly puts it today in her article lede about Corbis Images’ acquisition of 21-year-old LA outfit Splash News, Bill Gates now owns a piece of Angelina Jolie. Or at least a piece of her luscious lipped photographic image.

The two biggest consumer photo licensing companies, Corbis and Getty Images, are both now headquartered in Seattle. To a certain extent, the decision by Corbis to purchase Splash for an undisclosed amount is just one more example of the “TMZ-ization” of the media. Per today’s press release:

””We are thrilled to join Corbis and will continue to do what we do best–deliver the authentic, breaking content that connects the media with its audience,” said Splash CEO Gary Morgan. “We look forward to providing our global network of photographers the ability to expand beyond their current reach through Corbis’ global footprint.”

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