Yahoo acquiring BrightRoll in effort to boost revenue

Yahoo is buying digital video advertising service BrightRoll for $640 million in an effort to boost its revenue after years of little or no growth.

The acquisition announced Tuesday marks Yahoo’s first major purchase since reaping a $9.4 billion windfall in September by selling part of its stake in rapidly rising Internet star Alibaba Group Ltd.

Yahoo Inc. has promised to distribute at least half of the $6.3 billion in after-tax proceeds to shareholders, giving CEO Marissa Mayer the option of spending the rest on acquisitions that could enable the California company to recover lost ground from Google Inc. and Facebook Inc.

Comedy website gauging interest in a possible sale

Funny or Die, the comedy website founded by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy, hired a financial adviser to evaluate options including a possible sale, sources said.

The site is working with the investment bank Moelis & Co.

The site, known for shows such as the interview program “Between Two Ferns,” joins an expanding roster of Internet video companies using current high valuations to raise money or sell out. Maker Studios was sold to Walt Disney for $500 million in May, while Vice Media raised $500 million in September selling 10 percent stakes to Technology Crossover Ventures and A+E Networks, valuing the company at $2.5 billion..

Super Smash Bros. making early mark on holiday sales

Advance orders for Super Smash Bros., being released by Nintendo, are at a record and may lift sales of the struggling Wii U console during the holidays, a company official said.

Presales of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, which reaches stores on Nov. 21, have reportedly surpassed Mario Kart 8.

In Venezuela, Barbie’s safe from greedy speculators

Venezuelan socialism has embraced Barbie, just in time for Christmas

Mothers, grandmothers and beaming little girls are grabbing armfuls of the dolls in toy stores across Caracas, taking advantage of the government’s order that large chains sell the plastic figurines at fire-sale prices during the holiday season.

They’re selling at a price of 250 bolivars, or $2.50 at the black market conversion rate.

The socialist government has long imposed price caps on scores of essential products, from milk to detergent to diapers.

Now it’s making Barbie a highlight of this year’s “Operation Merry Christmas” initiative, which President Nicolas Maduro says is meant to prevent speculators from ruining the holidays.

—From news service reports