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Comcast Finishes FreeWheel Acquisition

Price tag: $360 million-plus.


Comcast has wrapped up its deal to buy FreeWheel, the Web video ad-serving company.

The two companies signed their paperwork yesterday, and informed employees last night. The cable giant will end up paying $360 million for the seven-year-old startup, sources said. If you throw in employee retention bonuses and other comp, the number could hit $375 million.

FreeWheel helps Web companies deliver video ads, and has specialized in locking up deals with big media companies like Viacom, Fox and Comcast’s NBCUniversal. (NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Re/code.) FreeWheel had raised more than $30 million, and last year it booked $22 million in revenue, according to a person familiar with the company.

Sources say the plan is for FreeWheel to run as a standalone company within Comcast, similar to the way video software company thePlatform has operated since Comcast bought that startup in 2006. All of FreeWheel’s employees, including CEO Doug Knopper and his two co-founders, are expected to stay with the company.

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