Digital entertainment company and patent hog Rovi has agreed to buy DVR-maker TiVo in a $1.1 billion deal. The acquisition was rumored yesterday and confirmed this morning by Rovi, saying it will adopt the "iconic TiVo brand" as the name for the new company. The deal will mostly be paid for in stock, with $277 million in cash making up the final price. Following the usual regulatory approvals, the acquisition is scheduled to go through in the third quarter this year.
As DealBook reported yesterday, it seems that the acquisition is mostly about patents. Neither TiVo nor Rovi make most of their money from actual products, instead, they rely on their intellectual property. For example, TiVo's Time Warp patent, which allows users to fast-forward through adverts on recorded TV. Between them, the two companies have more than 6,000 issued and pending patents in the digital entertainment world.
"strengthens Rovi’s position as a global leader in media discovery, metadata, analytics, and IP licensing"
"Rovi’s acquisition of TiVo, with its innovative products, talented team, and substantial intellectual property portfolio, strengthens Rovi’s position as a global leader in media discovery, metadata, analytics, and IP licensing," said Rovi CEO Tom Carson in a statement. "The combined capabilities of TiVo and Rovi place us in a tremendous position to extend services across platforms and to a customer base that includes traditional, over-the-top and emerging players across the globe."
TiVo CFO and interim CEO Naveen Chopra added: "In joining forces with Rovi, our customers, employees and stockholders will benefit from being part of a more diversified industry leader with significantly greater market opportunities." These opportunities will likely include patent enforcement. DealBook noted that TiVo has earned around $1.6 billion to date in revenue from intellectual property lawsuits, while Rovi recently went up against Netflix (and lost) in a suit involving five over-the-top video patents.