News Report: Korea starts taxing RMT and Proof - IGE owns Affinity

By PJ,
After the purchase of Wowhead, Affinity Media emphasized that it had sold IGE. Judging from recently surfaced documents this does not seem to be the case.

June 26, Brock Pierce stepped down as CEO of Affinity Media and appointed Steve Bannon the new CEO according to an announcement on its official website. An internal email leaked out with Brock announcing his resignation and stating that he "will remain on the Board of Directors as Vice Chairman of the Company". The email revealed the internal organization dividing Affinity into four business units:

  • The ZAM network - Online game content asset holding unit managed by John Maffei.
  • Consumer Auctions and Asset Exchage - a new Consumer-to-Consumer unit under Paul Kim.
  • China Content - ZAM China and Games TV cable network under Rendey Xu.
  • Itemmania - Another RMT, Virtual asset exchange business in South Korea under J.H. Lee.

Thus, Affinity is very much involved in RMT business even though they said they had sold the IGE part of the company.

On the other hand, John Maffei, president of the ZAM content network (Affinity) recently gave an interview with Wowinsider. There is a heated discussion in the comment section of the interview.

A comment by "ben1778" probably is the best illustration of disbelief, "I love corporate linguistics. It's verbal acrobatics kids! We don't sell gold, but the guys living in the room next door do... except that we just put that wall there in the spring. We both still pay rent to this other guy - so we're separate now. If you go up the corporate ownership tree far enough the gold ad revenue from korea and the content division revenue will end up mashed together on a profits sheet somewhere.".

While Affinity employee "cyamarin" tried very hard to defend the company on the site, "Pig" at WonderingGoblin did a thorough research after he received an important document - the "Restated Certificate of Incorporation of Affinity Media, Inc." - from an anonymous source. The document is a lengthy legal document filed on May 29, after the claimed IGE sale. Yet, the document does not mention anything about the sale. What it does mention is IGE's involvement in Affinity Media.

A Lawyer from Razorwire analyzed the document and came up with these interpretations:

  • Allakhazam was bought by IGE, despite what anyone has said to the contrary in the past. IGE paid for it, the deal was done in the name of a subsidiary and IGE handed Allakhazam to Affinity Media.
  • Affinity Media and its subsidiaries (Allakhazam, Thottbot, MMO Interface, Wowhead) are still affiliates of IGE.
  • Randy Maslow, Yantis Enterprises, Inc. and Mark Salyer Consulting, Inc. - all familiar names - are still involved with IGE and are the major share holders of its Preffered Stock.
  • Affinity Media has to consult the major shareholders (in other words: IGE) before making decisions such as buying Wowhead.

Last and most important of all, Affinity Media is OWNED by IGE so it is not possible for Affinity Media to sell off IGE. Follow the link to view the filing history and download Affinity's incorporation document.

News from im69, Korea: RMT businesses will be taxed from 1 July 2007 onwards as follows:

  • Sellers who make between 6 and 12 million won/half year in business will have VAT auto-applied by transaction middle-men.
  • Sellers who make more than 12 million won/half year in business will need a business license and have to pay the tax by themselves.

[Edited on 7/4/2007 by carebear]

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