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In the media: Samsung buys Boxee

Wed, 07/03/2013 - 1:07pm
Brian Santo

Samsung is reported to have purchased over-the-top box designer Boxee, for something less than the $28.5 million that had been invested in the company.

The report of the purchase of the Israeli company was in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz Neither of the two companies involved has confirmed the information.

The report says that Samsung will keep on all of Boxee’s 40 employees, which presumably includes co-founder and CEO Avner Ronen.

Boxee had attempted to raise another $30 million in venture capital. The company decided instead to sell. It had been up for sale for several months, but had received few offers, and none that matched its original asking price, Haaretz reported.

As of late last year, Boxee said it had sold approximately 200,000 Boxee Boxes.

The company was adamant about not wanting to incorporate a CableCard, which served two purposes: keeping the price of the box down, and maintaining its anti-cable street cred. Boxee ended up pestering the FCC – and aggravating the entire cable industry – to not change rules that would allow encryption of the basic tier.

While Boxee has been butting heads with the cable industry, many of its rivals have been more than happy to play ball with cable.

Roku, for example, is working with Time Warner Cable, and would be happy to work with other MSOs. Apple is said to have just cut a similar deal with TWC.

Roku in April reported 5 million boxes sold. Apple TV has sold 13 million boxes, half of them in the last year or so, CEO Tim Cook said in May.

There are no recent figures available for Google TVs, made by LG, Logitech, and other companies, but sales are widely considered to be low.

Samsung already has its Smart TVs, and several media outlets have reported that the company is working with the FCC for approval of a set-top box of its own.

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