Walmart to acquire Vizio TV maker in $2.3 billion deal

An image of Vizio’s new Home Screen software.
Image: Vizio

Walmart is planning to acquire TV maker Vizio in a deal valued at approximately $2.3 billion. Rumors of the deal emerged last week, and now the retail giant says the acquisition is official and part of a move to boost its ad business.

“The acquisition of Vizio and its SmartCast Operating System (OS) would enable Walmart to connect with and serve its customers in new ways including innovative television and in-home entertainment and media experiences,” says Walmart in a press release. “It would also create new opportunities to help advertisers connect with customers, empowering brands with differentiated and compelling opportunities to engage at scale and to realize greater impact from their advertising spend with Walmart.”

Vizio has more than 500 direct advertiser partnerships, thanks to its Vizio Platform Plus business — which the company says “now accounts for a majority of the company’s gross profit.” Vizio’s smart TV OS, SmartCast, is also used by more than 18 million active accounts.

A screenshot of Vizio Home Screen.
Image: Vizio
Vizio’s overhauled homescreen.

Walmart already has an existing Onn in-house brand of TVs, but owning Vizio will help the retailer better compete with affordable smart TVs from the likes of Amazon and Roku. Walmart previously partnered with Innovid last year to run personalized ads on TVs, and also previously partnered with Roku for “shoppable ads” that let consumers buy Walmart goods directly from their TVs.

Walmart’s proposed acquisition of Vizio will be subject to the usual regulatory clearance, and could even be terminated within a 45-day period if Vizio receives a “superior offer.” The deal comes months after Vizio gave its TV software a much-needed overhaul, with an improved modern homescreen experience for its range of TVs. That type of software differentiation will be important as Vizio continues to compete against rivals like Hisense, TCL, and budget-priced Roku TVs.

“We believe this is the ideal next chapter in Vizio’s history. By bringing our capabilities and resources together, we’ll drive innovation and create even more value for our customers,” says Vizio CEO William Wang. “Walmart’s approach is aligned with Vizio’s mission and vision, and our technology will help bring a scaled, connected TV advertising platform to Walmart Connect.”

Source: The Verge Walmart to acquire Vizio TV maker in .3 billion deal