Amazon Eyes Acquisition of MX Player in Potential Distress Sale

Preeti Bali / 8:49 am / May 30, 2024

In a move that could significantly impact the Indian streaming landscape, Amazon appears on the verge of acquiring MX Player from Times Internet. This would mark Amazon’s second attempt at securing the video streaming platform, and sources suggest the deal is nearing completion.

Distress Sale Paves the Way for Renewed Talks

“Late-stage talks” are underway between Amazon India and MX Player, according to anonymous sources familiar with the discussions. These discussions reportedly center around a “distress sale” of MX Player, hinting at potential financial difficulties for the Times Internet subsidiary.

This isn’t the first time Amazon has expressed interest in MX Player. Negotiations initially occurred in March 2022 but ultimately fell through by July 2023. Times Internet had acquired MX Player for a significantly higher price of $140 million in January 2018.

Fresh Negotiations and Potential Integration

Renewed discussions reportedly began in February 2024. Sources close to the deal suggest that the MX Player team would be absorbed into Amazon’s Mini TV service, with CEO Karan Bedi potentially joining as a director. This integration would bolster Amazon’s presence in the Indian streaming market, specifically within the free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) segment.

The deal’s value is estimated to be around $50 million, a significant drop from the original acquisition price paid by Times Internet.

Times Internet’s Potential Exit Strategy

MX Player is a subsidiary of MX Media, previously associated with the short-form video platform MX TakaTak. However, MX TakaTak merged with Google-backed ShareChat in February 2022 and was subsequently shut down, with users transitioned to Moj. This move resulted in a write-off of the MX TakaTak investment by MX Media.

Representatives from both Amazon and MX Player have yet to publicly comment on the ongoing discussions.

If the acquisition materializes, it would mark the sixth subsidiary divested by Times Internet in the past three years. This trend follows the sale of MX Takatak in February 2022, DineOut to Swiggy in May 2022, and MensXP, iDiva, and Hypp to Mensa in December 2022. Times Internet is also reportedly seeking a buyer for its music streaming service, Gaana, with previous talks with Airtel Wynk failing to materialize.


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