Wal-Mart in deal for Vudu

Bloomberg News / February 23, 2010

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NEW YORK - Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, has agreed to buy Vudu Inc., an online movie service that allows consumers to see films and shows instantly through their TVs.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, Wal-Mart said yesterday. The acquisition will be completed within several weeks.

The purchase gives Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., a method of reaching consumers who want entertainment without having to leave their homes. Vudu has a library of about 16,000 movies, many of which can be streamed for instant viewing, according to the statement. The company’s software is installed in a number of televisions and Blu-ray players, and users don’t need a connected computer or cable-satellite service to use it.

Vudu, a privately held company with 50 employees based in Santa Clara, Calif., helps consumers stream movies to high-definition televisions and Blu-ray disc players, its website states.

Wal-Mart said Vudu is planning a Web-based application to stream movies to televisions and disc players and has partnerships with The New York Times Co., Facebook Inc., and Twitter Inc., among others.

Netflix Inc., the largest US mail-order movie-rental service, also streams video through Blu-ray players and home theater systems, among others.