Dish Network buys Blockbuster for $320mn

The once-dominant US video chain Blockbuster was sold at auction to satellite TV chain Dish Network for just $320 million Wednesday after mismanagement and on-line competition pushed it into bankruptcy.

Dish Network said that it expected to pay only $228 million for the company, which has 1,700 stores, after "certain adjustments" on cash and inventory are made.

Once a network of more than 7,200 stores in the United States and 17 other countries, declared bankruptcy on September 23 and went into Chapter 11 reorganization with one billion dollars in debt.

It fell victim to competition from low-priced mail delivery of movies by , kiosk rental outlets such as Redbox, and online on-demand movie and TV services from Netflix and others, including Dish Network.

"With its more than 1,700 store locations, a highly recognizable brand and multiple methods of delivery, will complement our existing video offerings while presenting cross-marketing and service extension opportunities for ," said Dish's executive vice president Tom Cullen.

"While Blockbuster's business faces significant challenges, we look forward to working with its employees to re-establish Blockbuster's brand as a leader in video entertainment," he said in a statement.

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(c) 2011 AFP

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