Following yesterday's exciting news involving one major credit card processing firm buying another for billions of dollars, the same thing has now happened in the action-packed world of televised home shopping involving QVC and the Home Shopping Network. Also, arts & crafts materials store chain Hobby Lobby has been fined millions because of smuggled artifacts from Iraq.

QVC acquires rival HSN for $2.1 billion

The company that owns shopping channel QVC, Liberty Interactive, has just gone on its own shopping spree by purchasing all of its rival the Home Shopping Network (HSN) for a total of $2.1 billion dollars.

This price was to buy out the 61.8% off HSN that it did not already own in an all-stock transaction. This deal now gives Liberty Interactive control of five shopping channel on television and online, QVC, QVC2, BeautyiQ, HSN, and HSN2.

QVC CEO and President Mike George will oversee the combined networks once the deal is finalized later this year. He also stated that this buyout will make business more efficient, which will eventually mean better deals for customers of all five shopping channels in the future. Both QVC and HSN will continue to run as separate individual brands. The combined networks are now expected to make $14 million in revenue this year and have a combined worldwide audience of 23 million, with around 11 million being American shoppers.

Hobby Lobby fined $3 million for role in smuggling

Hobby Lobby has come to an agreement with federal prosecutors to pay a $3 million dollar federal fine and hand over thousands of ancient artifacts from Iraq that were smuggled out of the Middle East from dealers in the UAE, Israel, and other countries. These artifacts include mostly bricks and tablets written in one of the earliest writing systems, cuneiform, as well as other artifacts.

The U.S. government has said that these artifacts were intentionally mislabeled and shipped without any kind of proper identification.

Back in December 2010, Hobby Lobby agreed to buy more than 5,500 artifacts for $5.5 million from a dealer in the UAE. Federal prosecutors revealed that the deal was filled with red flags. The shipping labels showed that the contents were "ceramic tiles" and falsely said that Turkey was their country of origin.

In September 2011, a similar deal was made with a dealer in Israel for around 1,000 clay bullae. The shipping label on these falsely stated Israel as the country of origin.

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