Technology

Gemstar-TV Guide Swallows Aptiv

3/29/2007 11:14:00 AM Eastern

Electronic program guide supplier Gemstar-TV Guide International has acquired privately-held Aptiv Digital for $16 million in cash, effectively removing one of its few competitors in the guide space.

Burbank, California-based Aptiv was founded in 1996 as Pioneer Digital Technologies, which was spun off to its management team in 2005 as Aptiv. Aptiv's Passport, Passport DCT, and Passport Echo interactive program guides run on both Motorola and Scientific Atlanta set-tops, and are used by operators including Time Warner Cable, Cox and RCN.

Aptiv’s president and chief executive officer, Neil Jones, and its chief technology officer, Haig Krakirian, will continue to manage Aptiv's day-to-day operations. Jones will report to Tom Carson, president of Gemstar-TV Guide’s North American IPG group, while Krakirian will continue to report to Mr. Jones as well as Steve Shannon, Gemstar-TV Guide’s executive vice president, product development and technology and the man tasked with developing TV Guide’s next generation EPGs.

Gemstar-TV Guide said the Aptiv acquisition will boost earnings beginning in 2007. It didn't indicate whether existing Aptiv set-top software will be replaced with the TV Guide EPG; a spokesperson said there are no plans to do so.

"The addition of Aptiv’s products, services and capabilities will be highly complementary as we pursue our mission to provide leading edge products and services in the area of video guidance across multiple platforms, both here in the United States and abroad," said Gemstar TV-Guide CEO Rich Battista in a statement. "With Aptiv, we gain a solid engineering team with vast experience in the development of world-class products. This talented team will provide additional creativity and vision to help us develop the next generation of interactive television services."

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