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Sony, Philips team on InterTrust purchase

Tue, 11/12/2002 - 7:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

Fidelio Acquisition Company LLC, a company backed by Sony Corp. of America and Royal Philips Electronics, has put up about $453 million to snap up InterTrust Technologies Corp., a leading digital rights management company.

InterTrust holds 26 U.S. patents and has about 85 patents pending worldwide. Its portfolio covers software and hardware for a range of products that leverage DRM, including digital media platforms and Web services.

As for applications, both Sony and Philips have strong consumer electronics businesses and products designed to handle and display digital content. On the content front, Sony Pictures is a founding member of Movielink LLC, an Internet-based video-on-demand service that launched to trial customers earlier this week.

Studios, fearing that file sharing software will cause widespread pirating of their top-flight content, has made DRM and the overall protection of their digital assets a high priority.

"This acquisition will significantly accelerate the ability to ensure secure delivery of digital content," said Sony Corp. Chairman and CEO Nobuyuki Idei, in a statement.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in early 2003, the companies said.

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