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EU Commission Okays Sony, Philips Purchase
Dec 23, 2002
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The European Commission on Monday approved the U.S. $453-million purchase of InterTrust Technologies Corp. (Santa Clara, CA, U.S.) by a group that includes Sony Corp.'s American unit and Royal Philips Electronics NV of the Netherlands.

InterTrust, which is locked in a patent fight with Microsoft Corp., specializes in digital-rights management (DRM). DRM software enforces rules on the usage of computerized text, music, movies or other content -- technology that could be used to prevent digitalized music from unauthorized copying.

In a statement, the EU head office said the deal raised "no serious competition concerns" because the market for such software is in its infancy and already a number of a strong competitors are present.

Under the agreement, Fidelio Acquisition Co., which includes Sony of America, Philips, and other investors, will acquire InterTrust for $4.25 a share.

InterTrust, which once negotiated to build its copyright-protection software into Microsoft's Windows operating system, accuses the software giant of violating its patents, and company officials have discussed damage figures in the billions of dollars. (AP)

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