Gawker Media Files For Bankruptcy

Gawker Media, which was ordered to pay $140 million in damages to Hulk Hogan for publishing a sex tape involving him, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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The move will intensify public debate in the United States over the role of big money in media lawsuits. Billionaire investor Peter Thiel, an early backer of Facebook (FB.O) and a co-founder of PayPal (PYPL.O) had bankrolled Hogan's lawsuit.

Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, is listed as the largest creditor in Gawker's bankruptcy filing.

Media company Ziff Davis LLC has entered into an agreement to buy Gawker in a bankruptcy auction for a little less than $100 million, according to a people familiar with the matter.

In the filing, Gawker said its assets are estimated to be worth $50 million to $100 million, whereas its liabilities are estimated to be between $100 million and $500 million.