April 25, 2013 / 5:13 AM / 4 years ago

China's Baidu to acquire online video firm for near $400 million - paper

An employee walks past the Baidu company signage outside its headquarters in Beijing, July 26, 2011. REUTERS/Soo Hoo Zheyang/Files

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s largest search engine, Baidu Inc(BIDU.O), is in the process of acquiring Chinese online video firm, PPS Net TV, for between $350-$400 million, China Business News reported on Thursday, quoting sources.

Late last year Baidu acquired a majority stake in its loss-making online video unit, iQiyi. China’s online video industry is hyper-competitive and content costs are expensive. In early 2012, Youku Tudou Inc YOKU.N acquired Tudou in an all-stock deal, making the newly formed company the largest online video player in China.

When acquired, PPS and iQiyi will continue to operate as independent brands, but will share back-end technical integration, the newspaper reported.

A Baidu spokesman declined to comment and a PPS spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Matt Driskill

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