Online movie and TV service VUDU, the Santa Clara, CA-based digital provider, has been acquired by Walmart, the retail giant announced today.
VUDU's technology, which delivers access to movies and TV shows directly through television, allows customers with broadband access and an Internet ready or Blu-ray player to purchase movies without using a computer or cable/satellite service. An article in The New York Times today valued the deal at $100 million and indicated that the two entities have begun informing studios and television manufacturers.
NYT also reports that the integration could also give Walmart the chance to one day sell various products via people's televisions through VUDU's technology.
VUDU has licensing agreements with major movie studios in addition to what Walmart calls "dozens of independent and international distributors" that offers some 16,000 movies. Walmart is already the largest seller of DVDs in the U.S.
"The real winner here is the customer," said Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman for Walmart in a statement. "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."
"We are excited about the opportunity to take our company's vision to the next level," said Edward Lichty, VUDU executive vice president in a statement. "VUDU's services and Apps platform will give Walmart a powerful new vehicle to offer customers the content they want in a way that expands the frontier of quality, value and convenience."