Yahoo Wants to Buy Online Video Service News Distribution Network for $300 Million [WSJ]

Yahoo is trying to make a big purchase to expand its video library

Yahoo is apparently once more thinking about buying a company, but this time it’s not some obscure startup, but rather a big online video service – News Distribution Network.

The Wall Street Journal quotes sources saying that the deal could be worth as much as $300 million, although the discussions are still in the early stages. In fact, a final agreement may not be reached for several weeks or could even fall apart if the two companies fail to see eye to eye.

Ever since her arrival at Yahoo, Marissa Mayer has tried to switch things around, to make the company popular again and working like a well-oiled machine. While she may still have some work ahead of her, one thing can be said about her rule at Yahoo – she hasn’t shied away from investing in new, fresh technologies.

Dozens of small companies have been bought over the past year, as well as a few major ones, such as Tumblr. Among them, there have been quite a few startups oriented towards online videos. Mayer hopes that by improving this particular area of the site, people will spend more time on Yahoo pages and, implicitly, more time watching ads.

NDN is a video syndication service that offers content for newspapers and other web publishers. The clips cover a wide range of topics, such as news, sports, politics and more. In one strike, Yahoo’s video offering could grow immensely, not to mention the opportunities made available for its news sites, which Mayer has also been working on making relevant again.

It looks like this isn’t the first time Yahoo set eyes on News Distribution Network. In fact, it seems that before Marissa Mayer became CEO, the two parties worked on a deal, but didn’t reach an agreement.

The $300 million price tag would make this acquisition the second largest for Yahoo since mid-2012, when the company changed leadership. The biggest investment made since then has been in Tumblr, which Yahoo bought for $1.1 billion in May last year.

In the meantime, Yahoo has also tried to buy a stake in the French video site Dailymotion, but the deal was shut down by the French government, which didn’t want to let an American company gain so much control over it. It then tried to purchase Hulu, but the company’s owners changed their minds.

Whether the deal will go through between Yahoo and NDN remains to be seen, but a formal announcement will surely be made if negotiations are successful.

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