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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 September 2005, 16:14 GMT 17:14 UK
Dreamworks calls off merger talks
Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg had reportedly been ambivalent about the deal
US studio Dreamworks has called off talks to sell its live-action arm to NBC Universal for around $1bn (566m).

"When they tried to change the price we decided not to go forward," co-founder David Geffen said on Tuesday.

The deal would have given Universal control over the studio's live-action features, as well as rights to its library of around 60 films.

But the deal would not have included Dreamworks Animation, which became a public company last year.

Universal has a strong relationship with Steven Spielberg, another of Dreamworks' co-founders.


The director is currently shooting Munich - a fact-based drama about the kidnap and murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games - for the studio.

However, according to the Screen Daily website, Universal was reluctant to offer him the same kind of film-making autonomy he enjoys at his own company.

Dreamworks distributes its live-action films on DVD and internationally through Universal.

However, with a merger no longer likely, it may now seek another distribution partner.

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