By ANDREW MORSE
Veoh Networks Inc., a video-sharing Web site backed by high-profile investors, said on Thursday it is closing and would liquidate under bankruptcy protection.
“The distraction of the legal battles, and the challenges of the broader macro-economic climate have led to our Chapter 7 bankruptcy,” Dmitry Shapiro, the company’s founder and chief executive, wrote on his personal site. “This chapter of our lives has come to an end.”
A spokesperson for Veoh didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
The closure was earlier reported by the All Things Digital blog, which is owned by News Corp., which also publishes The Wall Street Journal.
San Diego-based Veoh, founded in 2004, was one of many promising video-sharing start-ups and attracted funding from a host of well-heeled investors. Those included the venture-capital operations of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Time Warner Inc., and Intel Corp. Veoh also received funding from Tornante Co., Michael Eisner’s investment vehicle.
The site, which had tried for years to carve out a niche by offering both user-generated content and professional shows, was eclipsed by rivals like Google Inc.’s YouTube and Apple Inc.’s iTunes. Veoh said it attracted more than 28 million unique users per month world-wide.
Veoh’s shutdown comes despite a ruling in September that handed it a victory in a closely watched legal battle with Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group.
The music label had accused Veoh of infringing on its copyrights by distributing online videos that featured music from its artists, but a federal judge ruled the Digital Millennium Copyright Act protected Veoh.