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LeEco’s Vizio Acquisition Goes Kaput

Chinese smartphone maker LeEco on Monday confirmed it will no longer be acquiring US TV maker Vizio.

LeEco is backing out of the $2 billion acquisition due to "regulatory headwinds," the company said in a statement to PCMag. The companies plan to continue working together, though.

"We continue to believe that there is great synergy between the two companies, and are pleased to announce that LeEco and Vizio have reached an agreement that is a win for both," LeEco said. Going forward, they're planning to "explore" how they can partner to bring LeEco's app and content to Vizio's platform as well as bring Vizio products to the Chinese market.

LeEco first announced plans to acquire Vizio in July. At the time, LeEco was planning to acquire all of Vizio's hardware and software operations, technology, and intellectual property.

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LeEco Chairman and CEO YT Jia said the acquisition was "an important step in our globalization strategy and building our North American presence." For Vizio, LeEco offered "immediate global scale to bring its innovations to consumers worldwide," the companies said.

The deal's demise comes after Vizio in February agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle claims that it collected viewing data from 11 million TVs without their owners' consent. According to a complaint from the Federal Trade Commission, Vizio was able to capture second-by-second information about what its TVs were displaying. The monitoring included video from not only built-in smartphone apps but also cable set-top boxes, DVD players, and over-the-air broadcasts. Vizio also recorded and tracked the TVs' IP addresses, according to the FTC complaint.

LeEco, meanwhile, has reportedly been having money troubles. Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that LeEco delayed paying its US employees from March 31 to April 4.

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