Zvue, a maker of video players and operator of websites like eBaum's World and Dorks.com, has a post-Halloween deadline to make $1.9 million in payments to a hedge-fund lender. Also owed money: The company's chief technology officer, Carl Page, the older brother of Google cofounder Larry Page, who has loaned his employer at least $4.9 million, including $1 million in July. Could bankruptcy be in the cards? If so, it would be quite a reversal for the elder Page.A decade ago, Carl looked like the more successful brother, having sold eGroups, a company he cofounded, to Yahoo for $432 million. But Carl's efforts to repeat his success, and come anywhere close to Larry's, have made him a buffoon. Zvue shut down its San Francisco Web operations in July, leaving its collection of funny-if-you're-15-years-old websites to Eric Bauman, the creator of eBaum's World. Bauman is also owed millions by Zvue, for fare like "Ass Cream Vendor."
How much would you pay for a viral-video site which some have charged with stealing clips? Depends on who you ask. eBaum's World has just sold for $15 million. Or is it $17 million? Or $67.5 million? HandHeld Entertainment, the San Francisco-based developer of the ZVUE portable media player, has agreed to shell out $15 million in cash and $2.5 million in stock for the Rochester, N.Y.-based website. The rest will come over the next three years, if eBaum's World meets traffic targets and other conditions. The conditional nature of the deal reflects the buyer's shaky finances — and also, a growing hesitancy to splash cash on websites with uncertain futures.