The media division of Russia's gas giant Gazprom is buying a majority stake in RuTube, valuing the video upload site at $15 million, business paper Kommersant reports, citing a "source close to the deal" (via RIA). It will also invest several million dollars, and the founders will retain stakes, Quintura says. The state-run supplier had been tailing the YouTube-esque site since at least July.
Russian analysts say it's an overvaluation. RuTube claims 5.5 million monthly visitors. It recently started publishing videos for TV and radio partners, but it has competitors in the shape of the Mail.ru free webmail provider's own video service, not to mention the official Russian YouTube. Gazprom Media has bought stakes in independent media operators including NTV, Tribuna newspaper and the Ekho Moskvy radio network.
By Robert Andrews