Walmart reportedly acquiring Vizio TVs for $2 billion to fight Amazon Fire TV and Roku

Walmart store sign as seen from the exterior
(Image credit: Walmart)

Update: Walmart announced in a press release Tuesday morning that it is officially purchasing Vizio for $2.3B.

Walmart might be eyeing TV manufacturer Vizio as it aims to aggressively restructure its TV business and strengthen its ads potential, according to a new report.

The report, headed up by The Wall Street Journal, suggests that the potential $2B purchase could be an attempt on Walmart’s part to not only take on more affordable TV manufacturing giants, like Roku and Amazon Fire TV, but likewise strengthen its advertising business, which is intended to double by 2024.

Why is Walmart about to shell out the big bucks for Vizio? Although Walmart already has its own in-house TV brand, called Onn, through Vizio it could garner an instant foothold into the industry with arguably one of the most well-known affordable TV makers in the business. 

More importantly, this would also allow Walmart a veritable gold mine in the form of years’ worth of Vizio user data, in tandem with a platform ripe for advertising.

Can Vizio and Walmart take on Roku and Amazon?

Vizio TV with remote in front on desk

(Image credit: Vizio)

According to the WSJ, which posted its initial report on Tuesday, Walmart is seeking to purchase budget TV manufacturer Vizio for $2B. If the deal goes through, it could give the mega retailer well over a fifth of the US TV industry and could allow it more leeway for its surging ads business, Walmart Connect.

Walmart has been headstrong over the past several years in strengthening its advertising arm, saddling up alongside Roku in 2022 for shoppable ads via the TV manufacturer’s interactive OS. Last year it even collaborated with Innovid and its so-called Dynamic Creative Optimization solution, which leverages AI to fuel both interactive connected TV (CTV) messages for improved and engaging adverts.

Vizio TVs account for nearly 70% of Walmart’s TV sales, which potentially gives the retailer extra incentive to buy into its ecosystem.

Through the ownership of Vizio, Walmart would have the potential to reach nearly 18 million users, a significant chunk of potential customers that could be used to sell a number of goods beyond Walmart shelves. As per Insider Intelligence (thanks Reuters), Vizio TVs account for nearly 70% of Walmart’s TV sales, which potentially gives the retailer extra incentive to buy into its ecosystem.

And, if that wasn’t enough, Walmart could leverage its new control over Vizio by plastering a variety of different ads within its stores, thus reaching a potential 37 million daily shoppers across its over 10,000 global stores, about half of which are US-based.

When asked via email about the validity of the $2B deal, Vizio PR said to Tom’s Guide, “No comment at this time.” The WSJ added that the deal is still ongoing and could potentially miss its mark, relaying information provided via those familiar with the potential buyout.

If the deal goes through, which relies solely on Vizio CEO William Wang, it will put Walmart in direct competition with alternative budget TV makers Roku and Amazon Fire TV. Interestingly, Walmart already has an ongoing exclusive deal with Roku, mentioned previously, which allows Walmart products to be sold via its Roku OS.

How a Walmart-owned Vizio brand will stack up against long-time rivals Roku and Amazon (both of whom make their own TVs and smart platforms) is anyone's guess, but if it results in cheaper, quality TVs on Walmart store shelves all over the country — as well as in Walmarts in the 19 other countries in which the company operates — then the two other major US players might be in trouble.

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Ryan Epps
Staff Writer

Ryan Epps is a Staff Writer under the TV/AV section at Tom's Guide focusing on TVs and projectors. When not researching PHOLEDs and writing about the next major innovation in the projector space, he's consuming random anime from the 90's, playing Dark Souls 3 again, or reading yet another Haruki Murakami novel.