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TiVo to merge with Xperi to create ‘one of the largest licensing companies in the world’

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The $3 billion deal is all about patents

Image: TiVo

TiVo is combining with Xperi — a licensing firm that specializes in semiconductor technology as well as various A/V brands — in a $3 billion merger, the two companies announced today. The deal marks the end of an era for the iconic DVR company.

The original TiVo company was bought back in 2016 by Rovi for $1.1 billion, primarily for TiVo’s huge (and profitable) stash of patents. Rovi would go on to change its name to TiVo post-acquisition, and the combined company, which still makes most of its money through patent licensing, is now merging with California-based Xperi.

The Rovi-owned TiVo had previously been exploring a split into two separate companies earlier this year, dividing the once-popular product department from the less consumer-facing but lucrative patent licensing half. That plan has been scrapped, though, due to the Xperi merger.

TiVo is best known for its pioneering DVR set-top boxes, which the company still produces today, albeit with far less popularity than it once commanded in the marketplace. But the bulk of the company’s revenue (both before and after the Rovi acquisition) has come from licensing its portfolio of patents to other vendors.

According to market analyst Avi Greengart, as with the 2016 Rovi purchase, the new deal is focused on IP licensing, not TiVo’s DVR hardware, although the newly merged company (which will go by the name Xperi) still reportedly plans to offer products under the TiVo name in the future. It’s a similar arrangement to that of audio technology brand DTS, which Xperi acquired back in 2016.

As Xperi’s press release announcing the merger proudly boasts, “With 10,000 patents and applications between the two companies and minimal licensee overlap, the combined IP business will be one of the largest licensing companies in the world.”