Yahoo Buys Web-Video Management Startup

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Yahoo, in the midst of fighting off Microsoft's hostile takeover bid, said Tuesday it has acquired Maven Networks, a provider of online-video management services, for about $160 million.

Yahoo said the deal will expand its inventory for online-video advertising, allowing advertisers to buy across Yahoo's library of professionally produced, licensed video content -- as well as other publishers -- simply and efficiently.

“Video is projected to be the fastest-growing segment of the online ad market, and Maven will significantly help advance Yahoo's strategy, expanding the video opportunity for publishers and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness for advertisers,” Yahoo executive vice president of global partner solutions Hilary Schneider said, in a statement.

Yahoo claimed it already has video advertising relationships with more than 75% of the top TV advertisers.

In addition to Maven's video-management technology, Yahoo gets its customer list. More than 30 media companies use Maven's platform to manage, distribute and monetize premium online video content, including Fox News, Scripps Networks, A&E Television Networks, Gemstar-TV Guide International, Sony BMG, CBS Sports, Hearst and Gannett.

The announcement of the Maven acquisition comes after Yahoo’s board of directors on Monday officially rejected Microsoft's proposed $44.6 billion takeover deal. Yahoo said the offer “substantially undervalues” the company; Microsoft defended the bid as a “full and fair proposal.”

Maven Networks, founded in 2002, raised $30 million in funding from investors including Accel Partners, General Catalyst and Prism Venture Partners.

Yahoo will operate the Cambridge, Mass.-based Maven as a wholly owned subsidiary.

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