Walmart might buy Vizio to win the fight over cheap TVs

A photo showing the TV aisle at Walmart
Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Walmart is eyeing a $2 billion deal to buy the TV maker Vizio, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The deal would put the retail chain in a better position to compete with the affordable smart TVs from Roku and Amazon than its existing Onn house brand. It would also give Walmart access to the breadth of customer data collected by Vizio’s smart TV platform and the revenue stream created by serving up personalized ads and taking a cut of subscription fees.

After years of putting its Roku operating system on other TVs, Roku finally launched its own line of smart TVs last year and is ramping up its efforts with plans to release more expensive Mini LED TVs this spring. Meanwhile, Amazon is steadily building out its lineup of Fire TVs while also expanding ads on the TV’s OS.

An image of a Roku TV with a purple background.
Image: Roku
Walmart might find itself competing against Roku’s smart TVs.

Walmart partnered with an advertising company last year to provide personalized ads on connected TVs and teamed up with Roku to offer shoppable ads on TVs in 2022.

Additionally, as pointed out by the WSJ, Walmart could leverage its ownership of Vizio to sell ads shown on TVs in stores. The company is already doing this with TV brands displayed inside its stores and is even showing ads in self-checkout aisles. Vizio and Walmart declined to comment on the report.