Walt Disney Co. is said to be in talks to acquire YouTube network Maker Studios for $500 million, a price that could rise to as much as $900 million if certain performance benchmarks are met, according to reports on tech website Re/code and the Financial Times.
The Burbank media giant would get a multi-channel network that develops online video programming for a variety of YouTube channels and other social media outlets. It is home to YouTube entertainers PewDiePie, said to be the biggest star on YouTube, and KassemG. Maker said it has more than 4.5 billion monthly views and 340 million subscribers to its channels.
A Maker spokeswoman did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
The West L.A. network has raised $66 million in Venture funding to date according to Crunchbase, including a $36 million investment by Time Warner in 2012.
Shares of Disney closed Tuesday down 92 cents or 1 percent to $81.05 on the New York Stock Exchange.