As expected, Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. has retooled and expanded
its strategic partnership with French consumer-electronics giant Thomson
First hinted at in Gemstar's quarterly earnings call earlier this week, the
partnership calls for Thomson to use Gemstar's 'GUIDE Plus+' interactive
programming guide in its televisions, consumer-electronics devices, digital
set-top boxes and satellite boxes in North America and Europe.
Thomson will get a share of the guide ad revenues under the deal. Gemstar, in
turn, will make Thomson a preferred supplier for broadcast and response-network
gear for video and data used in its interactive services.
The reforged partnership replaces an agreement struck in 1996,
when the two companies started working on developing and rolling out IPG products
for Thomson TV sets.
It also heads off pending arbitration proceedings between the two firms over
the earlier agreement. In November, Thomson had filed a request with the
American Arbitration Association, claiming that Gemstar had breached
revenue-sharing and ad agreements related to the IPG.
'We have set the basis for a fresh new start in a promising and fruitful
cooperation, now aligned with Thomson's New Media Services strategy and
improving significantly the division's financial profile,' said Frank Dangeard,
Thomson's senior executive vice president, in a prepared statement.
'Thomson's systems-integration capabilities, back-office
network-management skills and access products can play a pivotal role for the
deployment of Gemstar's interactive services,' he added.