Vivendi-USA Networks Talks Could Delay Expedia Deal

By | December 13, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Expedia Inc., the online travel company slated to be taken over by USA Networks Inc., said on Wednesday shareholder approval of the transaction could be delayed by the entertainment company’s negotiations with Vivendi Universal.

Vivendi Universal, the media behemoth that owns Universal Studios, Universal Music Group and Canal Plus pay TV service, confirmed on Tuesday its discussions to buy USA Networks’ entertainment assets.

“To the extent such a transaction is announced by the parties or is considered probable, this may impact the timing of the presentation to Expedia shareholders for approval of the pending USA-Expedia merger transaction.”

Expedia shareholders were scheduled to vote on the merger at the annual meeting Dec. 17. Should a Vivendi-USA Networks deal not be reached or appear unlikely, the vote will be held as planned.

USA Networks, which owns the flagship USA Network and the Home Shopping Network, said in July it planned to buy up to a 75 percent stake in Expedia in a deal believed to be worth about $1.5 billion.

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