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Amazon is in talks to buy MX Player, a major player in Indian video

According to four people with knowledge of the situation, Amazon is in talks with Times Internet to investigate buying MX Player, one of the biggest on-demand video streaming services in India, as the American e-commerce company looks to expand its entertainment ambitions in the important international market.

Three sources warned that because the discussions are still in progress, a deal may not be reached. The agreement’s terms have not yet been decided. A request for comment from Times Internet and Amazon did not receive a prompt response. Sources spoke about personal matters while requesting anonymity.

According to two sources, at least two additional players, including Zee-Sony, have expressed interest in purchasing the Times Internet-owned app.

The discussions are noteworthy for MX Player, which Times Internet, an Indian conglomerate, paid $140 million for in 2018. The video app has over 300 million users worldwide and is well-known for its support of a variety of video formats and dependability on budget Android smartphones. In recent years, it has added original content.

MX Player has grown significantly in popularity in markets like India in part because it provides free access to a large selection of videos, including live cable TV channels. Instead, advertising generates the majority of the service’s income.

One of the first video apps to embrace the short-form video format was MX Player, seizing the chance presented by New Delhi’s mid-2020 decision to outlaw TikTok in the nation. In the end, MX Player acquired that company along with Moz, ShareChat’s short-video service, in a $900 million deal.

The 184-year-old Bennett Coleman and Company, which runs more than 30 properties, including the English daily Times of India, the news source Indiatimes, the business newspaper Economic Times, and the advertising agency Colombia, is the parent company of Times Internet. As the group gears up for a significant restructuring, it has recently moved to sell off a number of businesses, including edtech provider GradeUp and restaurant tech platform Dineout.

Amazon has been fiercely vying for a piece of the Indian video market for many years. Over the past ten years, Amazon has invested over $7 billion in India. The e-commerce company maintains a free, ad-supported video streaming service in India in addition to offering Prime Video subscription (and Prime membership) at discounted rates there.

With about half a billion monthly active users in India, Google’s YouTube dominates the video market there, according to mobile intelligence company Sensor Tower. Less than 40 million Americans use Prime Video and Netflix each month. MX Player competes primarily with YouTube and Disney’s Hotstar, which has more than 50 million subscribers and more than 150 million monthly active users in the country. MX Player lists India as its largest market.

MX Player claims to have over 150 million active users in India and offers its premium services in many international markets. The company last raised capital in 2019, when Tencent led a funding round in which it received an investment of $110.8 million.

MX Player was valued at $500 million in that round.

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