March 1, 2007 / 6:53 AM / 13 years ago

Blockbuster may buy Movielink: WSJ

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Movie-rental company Blockbuster Inc. BBI.N is in advanced talks to acquire Movielink LLC, an online movie-downloading company owned by the major Hollywood studios, the Wall Street Journal said on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The price was said to be less than $50 million in cash and stock but the deal would give Blockbuster a quick way into the online downloads business and bring much-needed marketing muscle to Movielink’s efforts to increase market share now that big players like Apple Inc.’s (AAPL.O) iTunes and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT.N) have jumped into the fray, the paper said.

Movielink is owned by a joint venture of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Paramount Pictures VIA.N, Sony Pictures Entertainment (6758.T), Universal Studios (VIV.PA) and Warner Bros. TWX.N

No one at Blockbuster or Movielink could immediately be reached for comment.

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