US retail giant Wal-Mart plunged into the online video market on Monday with the purchase of Vudu, a company which delivers movies to Internet-enabled television sets and Blu-ray players.
"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," Wal-Mart vice chairman Eduardo Castro-Wright said in a statement.
Wal-Mart said the deal is expected to close in the next few weeks. It did not provide financial details of the transaction.
Vudu executive vice president Edward Lichty said Vudu "will give Wal-Mart a powerful new vehicle to offer customers the content they want in a way that expands the frontier of quality, value and convenience."
Wal-Mart's purchase of Vudu puts the company in potential competition with video rental company Netflix, which streams movies over the Internet, and Amazon, the online retail titan which also offers an online movie service.
The Santa Clara, California-based Vudu has been built into Internet-enabled TVs and Blu-ray players from a number of leading manufacturers.
Wal-Mart is also a major seller of electronics and the purchase of Vudu may help with sales of broadband-enabled television sets.
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