Amazon begins due diligence to buy MX Player | Mint
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Business News/ Companies / News/  Amazon begins due diligence to buy MX Player
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Amazon begins due diligence to buy MX Player

In 2018, Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL)-owned Times Internet, acquired MX Player for ₹1,000 crore

The deal is likely to be in the range of ₹600-900 cr Premium
The deal is likely to be in the range of 600-900 cr

Amazon.com Inc. is in advanced talks to acquire MX Player, the video streaming platform owned by Times Internet, three people with direct knowledge of the development confirmed.

The US e-commerce giant has hired one of the Big Four accounting firms to carry out due diligence of MX Player exclusively, and the process is expected to take 30-40 days, one of the three people said, requesting anonymity.

A deal could happen within two months if all goes well, the second person said, also declining to be named.

“The talks have been on for a while," said the person. “Earlier, Times Internet was asking for over $100 million for MX Player, while Amazon’s internal team valued it at around 500 crore ($60 million). The deal is likely to be in the range of 600-900 crore."

Queries sent to spokespeople for Amazon and MX Player remained unanswered till press time.

Amazon owns the subscription streaming service Prime Video and an ad-supported MiniTV service in India. Amazon launched the free MiniTV service in May 2021 within the Amazon shopping app for Android phone users, which was later offered to iPhone users as well.

Prime Video targets top SEC (socio-economic classes) segments and is bundled with the Prime subscription, which also offers free shipping on eligible items and ad-free music apart from video content.

However, for miniTV, there is no subscription required, and it is targeted at the masses with smartphones and data connections. The addition of MX Player will give a massive boost to Amazon’s AVoD (advertiser video-on-demand) business.

MX Player was initially developed by a South Korean app developer as a media player for downloaded videos.

In 2018, Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL)-owned Times Internet, acquired MX Player for 1,000 crore (around $140 million at that time) to mark its entry into video streaming after a couple of failed attempts, including BoxTV.

MX Player was later relaunched as an ad-supported video streaming app. The biggest advantage the player had was that it was already present in over 100 million users’ smartphones and was clocking 50 million daily users at that time. Today, MX Player claims over 300 million users globally.

However, the company, which last raised around $111 million in a funding round led by Chinese internet giant Tencent, has not been able to generate enough cash for a while to fund expansion, and Times Internet has been selling off some of its businesses.

In February last year, the company sold its short-video platform MX Takatak to Temasek-backed ShareChat. In May 2022, Times Internet sold Dineout to Swiggy in a stock deal, while later in December, it sold lifestyle publications—MensXP and iDiva—and an influencer marketing firm Hypp to Mensa Brands.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gaurav Laghate
Gaurav Laghate is the chief of Mint's Consumer Bureau that covers FMCG, consumer durables, retail, media, advertising, hospitality, luxury and the business of sports. An accomplished business journalist with a career spanning over 15 years, he has reported on the significant advancements in the media and entertainment industry, as well as the business of sports. Beyond his role as a journalist, Gaurav is recognised as a steadfast observer of the media landscape, having spoken at several industry events and panels.
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Published: 19 Mar 2023, 11:13 PM IST
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