Santa Monica-based online news publisher ContentNext, operator of the paidContent.org and other online news publications, announced this morning that it has been acquired by Guardian News & Media, the news media division of UK-based Guardian Media Group. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Guardian is the publisher of the Guardian and the Observer, two major UK national newspapers. According to the firms, paidContent will continue to be run as a standalone business by founder and editor Rafat Ali and CEO Nathan Richardson. According to Rafat Ali in a post on the site, the firm was planning another round of funding and was not shopping the company when Guardian approached the firm. ContentNext was venture backed by Greycroft Partners.