November 26, 2013
Intel Corp. is asking about $500 million for OnCue, the online pay-TV service that the world's largest chipmaker developed before dialing back its ambitions, according to people with knowledge of the process.
Intel is seeking to secure a sale by year-end, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. One suitor, Verizon Communications Inc., has begun talking with owners of broadcast and cable channels about terms for a streaming TV service, the people said. A sale that meets Intel's asking price would let the company recoup its costs as it retreats on a plan to enter the pay-TV business, while still supplying chips to the new owner. Samsung Electronics Co. and Liberty Global Ltd. also met with Intel, people said earlier. Intel's TV efforts slowed under Chief Executive Officer Brian M. Krzanich, who took the reins in May and has focused on getting chips into mobile devices. Laura Anderson, a spokeswoman for Santa Clara, California-based Intel, declined to comment yesterday, as did Bob Varettoni, a spokesman for New York-based Verizon.
OnCue is able to provide pay-TV programming over any high-speed Internet connection, making it a threat to cable-TV services that deliver shows over dedicated lines installed by territory. Intel developed a system that includes servers, set-top boxes and applications that stream content to phones and tablets. Verizon, one of the biggest U.S. phone and wireless operators, runs the FiOS fiber-optic pay-TV service that competes with cable companies. OnCue would let Verizon sell pay-TV outside the current FiOS footprint. The company has been asking media companies if a streaming service would require new contracts for shows, or whether existing FiOS TV agreements could be amended to include the additional rights, the people said. Intel fell 0.5 percent to $23.75 yesterday in New York. The stock has climbed 15 percent this year. Verizon declined 0.4 percent to $50.01. It has advanced 16 percent this year. Bloomberg
Consumer research and TV ratings firm Nielsen agreed to buy market research firm Harris Interactive for about $116.6 million, saying it will help it provide insights to customers. Harris Interactive said Nielsen agreed to pay $2 per share, but the price may change. The per-share amount is 4 percent below Harris Interactive Inc.'s $2.08 Friday closing price. Harris Interactive CEO Al Angrisani said in a statement on Monday that the company chose the Nielsen transaction after a review of its strategic options that started earlier this year. Harris Interactive's board unanimously approved the deal.
John Lewis, president of the Americas for Nielsen, said in a statement that the acquisition adds to the company's existing capabilities and will provide growth opportunities in other industry sectors. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter. Shares of Rochester, N.Y.-based Harris Interactive fell 9 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $1.99 in midday trading. Shares of Nielsen Holdings N.V., which is based in New York and the Netherlands, added 59 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $41.71. Associated Press
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