Yahoo! buys Internet broadcaster

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The Independent Online
YAHOO!, the Internet search engine provider, yesterday strengthened its grip on cyberspace with the acquisition of Broadcast.com, a broadcaster of video and audio programmes over the World Wide Web, for $5.7bn in stock, writes Peter Thal Larsen.

The acquisition will allow Yahoo! to take advantage of the growing demand for audio and video broadcasting over the Internet, and the exponential growth in such programming that is expected to occur as millions of computer users upgrade to high-speed Internet connections in coming years.

Broadcast.com beams everything from presidential speeches, to investor conference calls and lingerie catwalk fashion shows over the web. The deal is the second multi-billion dollar acquisition for Yahoo! this year as it attempts to attract more users to its sites. In January it bought Geocities, which operates online communities, for $4.6bn.

Meanwhile CBS, the television group, splashed out $2.5bn on King World Productions, a TV production group whose programmes include "The Oprah Winfrey Show". The deal will bolster CBS's distribution and production businesses as it seeks to control more of the shows it airs.

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