Two of the most popular anime streaming services in the world are combining, as Sony's Funimation is buying Crunchyroll from AT&T for a whopping $1.175 billion.
Funimation says that "both companies will continue to operate independently until regulatory review and approval is complete and the deal closes," but eventually both streaming services will merge under the Sony umbrella.
"The Crunchyroll team has done an extraordinary job of not only growing the Crunchyroll brand but also building a passionate community of anime fans. Crunchyroll's success is a direct result of the company's culture and commitment to their fans," said WarnerMedia exec Tony Goncalves in a statement.
"By combining with Funimation, they will continue to nurture a global community and bring more anime to more people. I'm incredibly proud of the Crunchyroll team and what they have been able to accomplish in the digital media space in such a short period of time. They've created an end-to-end global ecosystem for this incredible art form."
Obviously, this holds massive implications for the future of anime streaming and production, but both parties involved are telling fans to stay patient as they wait for answers. The deal technically isn't done yet, so there's still all sorts of legal reasons for the two companies staying tight-lipped.
Funimation released a separate statement calling the union "a win for anime fans."
"The union of Funimation and Crunchyroll is a win for anime fans around the world that will elevate the art and culture of this medium for decades to come," said Funimation CEO Colin Decker. "Combining these two great companies will be a win for fans, and enable us to compete at a truly global scale. I am honored to welcome the wonderful Crunchyroll team to a shared mission—to help everyone belong to the extraordinary world of anime."