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Vizio’s Deal With Walmart Under FTC Antitrust Review

The Federal Trade Commission is taking an in-depth look at the possible antitrust implications of retail giant Walmart Inc.’s deal to buy smart TV maker Vizio Holding Corp. for approximately $2.3 billion.

Vizio historically has been the largest television brand by sales sold at Walmart (NYSE: WMT). The deal would make Walmart a larger player in connected TV advertising, where it would compete with Roku, Amazon and YouTube.

Vizio (NYSE: VZIO) disclosed in a regulatory filing that the companies on April 29 received a so-called “second request” from the federal agency seeking additional information.

Such an in-depth review can lengthen the regulatory process by months or years, depending on the complexity of the transaction, Bloomberg News reported.

Founder Wang

Vizio founder and Chief Executive William Wang told the Business Journal he “can’t comment on the deal.”

But his future plans are clear.

“I’ll be still working with them, with Vizio. I’m staying with Vizio,” Wang said.

Wang also said he is happy about the deal to sell Vizio, which he built from the ground up.

“Our future success depends in significant part on the continued service of William Wang, our founder, chairman and chief executive officer, and our senior management team,” Vizio said in a regulatory filing on Feb. 28, a little more than a week after the planned sale was announced.

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