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Comcast buys advertising startup Freewheel for $360 million

A Comcast sign is shown in San Francisco, California February 13, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
A Comcast sign is shown in San Francisco, California February 13, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

(Reuters) - Comcast Corp, the entertainment and cable group, said on Thursday it bought Freewheel, a startup that personalizes and inserts online video ads for media clients, as it tries to boost its digital advertising business.

The companies did not reveal financial details but a source familiar with the transaction valued it at $360 million.

Freewheel's website said its clients range from media companies such as 21st Century Fox Inc and Viacom Inc to Comcast competitors like Dish Network Corp and DirecTV.

Freewheel's investors include Steamboat Ventures, Turner Broadcasting System, DirecTV, Battery Ventures, and Foundation Capital.

Comcast recently agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc for $45.2 billion.

(Reporting by Liana B. Baker in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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