Controversial billionaire Peter Thiel might be looking to buy -- the news site he helped Hulk Hogan take down

Alex Wong/Getty Images

  • BuzzFeed reports that lawyers for influential billionaire Peter Thiel are objecting to him being left out of the sale process for, indicating possible interest from Thiel to bid on the domain and its archive of articles.
  • Peter Thiel financed wrestler Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Media, eventually forcing it into a 2016 bankruptcy and a fire sale to Univision.
  • If Thiel ends up being allowed to bid on and wins the auction, he would get the site’s archives, branding, and social media accounts.

It looks like controversial billionaire Peter Thiel, a Facebook board member and Donald Trump’s biggest supporter in Silicon Valley, might be interested in buying – the news site he helped force into bankruptcy.

In October 2017, the The Wall Street Journal reported that Gawker bankruptcy plan administrators were looking to sell the domain, and were searching for buyers.

The problem, it seems, is that Thiel’s lawyers believe he’s being unfairly excluded from the bidding process, and that the sale should be paused until the matter is resolved. This is according to a bankruptcy court filing made on Wednesday by Thiel’s lawyers, which was reviewed by BuzzFeed News.

This objection would seem to signal that Thiel is interested in bidding on and its assets, which would include its archive of articles, its branding, and its social media accounts. Any potential owner would be free to delete the archives.

Representatives for Thiel and the Gawker bankruptcy plan administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hulk hogan trialDirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times via ReutersTerry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, sits in court during his trial against Gawker Media, in St Petersburg, Florida March 17, 2016.

The case

Hulk Hogan, the wrestler whose real name is Terry Bollea, was awarded $US140 million in damages in March 2016 stemming from a Gawker news article published in 2012 that included footage of him having sex. It was later revealed that Thiel had secretly financed the lawsuit and others against Gawker Media.

“I saw Gawker pioneer a unique and incredibly damaging way of getting attention by bullying people even when there was no connection with the public interest,” Thiel, whom Gawker publicly outed as gay in 2007, told The New York Times in May 2016. In a speech, Thiel once described Gawker as a “singular, sociopathic bully.”

To protect its assets from being collected by Hogan, Gawker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Its assets were then sold to Univision in a government-ordered auction in August 2016, which bought them for $US135 million.

Univision shut down operations of, the company’s flagship site, but has continued to run its other properties, which consist of Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Deadspin, Jezebel, Kotaku, and Jalopnik. The Gawker archives remain available online.

Read the full BuzzFeed report here>>

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