Home Shopping Network sold to main competitor QVC

Thousands of HSN employees work in St. Pete

St. Petersburg, Fla., -

In what seemed to many to be an inevitable merger, The Home Shopping Network (HSN), based in St. Petersburg, Florida, has sold itself to its main competitor, Liberty Interactive, which owns QVC.

Liberty Interactive will buy the remaining 62% of the company’s stock, traded on Nasdaq as HSNI, that it didn’t already own.

"As the prominent global video commerce retailer and North America's third largest mobile and eCommerce retailer, the combined company will be well-positioned to help shape the next generation of retailing,” said Liberty Interactive President Mike George in a statement Thursday morning.

HSN founded the industry and helped continue innovations over four decades, but the merger buy, estimated at around $2 Billion, will “accelerate innovate, leverage our resources and talents and further strengthen out brands, and redeploy savings for innovation and growth,” adds George in a statement to ABC Action News.

“The combined company will be well-positioned to help shape the next generation of retailing,” says George.

The next generation will have to better compete with the new retail reality: online shopping options like Amazon.com diminished the novelty of HSN and QVC.

It’s also not yet clear what will happen to the thousands of HSN employees as Liberty Interactive “leverages” their resources; about 2,500 of HSN’s 6,000 or so employees worked in the St. Petersburg area.

The HSN acquisition won’t be complete until the fourth quarter of 2017, says Liberty Interactive.

HSN tried to branch out from its original form, offering retail experiences not just on TV, but also online, via mobile devices, in catalogs, and in brick and mortar stores, and reached an estimated 91 million homes with live programming 364 days a year. 

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