Walmart announced a definitive agreement to acquire VUDU, a provider of video streaming services to TVs and Blu-ray players. The deal is expected to close within the next few weeks.
"The real winner here is the customer," said Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman for Walmart. "Combining VUDU's unique digital technology and service with Walmart's retail expertise and scale will provide customers with unprecedented access to home entertainment options as they migrate to a digital environment."
VUDU has licensing agreements with almost every major movie studio and dozens of independent and international distributors to offer approximately 16,000 movies, including the largest 1080p library of video on-demand movies available anywhere. Via their broadband Internet connection, users have the ability to rent or buy titles and begin viewing them instantly.
VUDU will continue developing entertainment and information delivery solutions such as VUDU Apps, a platform that delivers hundreds of streaming Internet applications and services to TVs and Blu-ray players with built-in Internet connectivity.
VUDU, based in Santa Clara, Calif., will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walmart. The company is not disclosing financial terms of the agreement as the acquisition is not material to its first quarter earnings for fiscal year 2011.
The VUDU acquisition is strengthening Walmart's digital media delivery and enables the retail giant to compete with Amazon in this field.
Besides integrating into TVs and Blu-ray players, VUDU also offers a set top box.