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Google, Facebook fighting over VEVO stake

ALLIES & ENEMIES: Both Google’s Larry Page and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg are exploring an investment in VEVO as they compete to land an ad pact with the service, the N.Y. Post’s Claire Atkinson reports. An outside investor, she notes, could help fund VEVO’s expansion on multiple platforms as well as acquiring music rights outside of its home base here. “The deal with YouTube is done at the end of the year,” a source familiar with the talks told Atkinson. “Between now and then, we want to explore all the possibilities.” VEVO could choose to distribute its music content exclusively with either YouTube or Facebook and bring in either one as an equity partner. It could also wait out the rocky IPO market and go public at a later date, or the owners could sell the entire property and pocket the cash. Complicating matters is that joint venture partners UMG (which controls 51%) and Sony Music (29%) are engaged in a heated marketshare competition even as they attempt to reach an agreement on the course of the company, which is valued at about $1 billion on revenue of $150 million, according to industry sources. VEVO is YouTube’s top partner channel, garnering 48 million unique viewers in April, according to ComScore. Overall, Vevo is the third-biggest online video destination, trailing only Google and Yahoo, while Facebook comes in fourth. (5/31a)

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