Liberate Absorbs MoreCom

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San Carlos, Calif.-Interactive-TV-software provider Liberate Technologies agreed to buy privately held MoreCom Inc. in a stock swap valued at $561 million.

MoreCom, based in Horsham, Pa., provides interactive-television infrastructure. The deal is expected to give Liberate an inroad into the satellite- and digital-television industries-areas in which it had been lacking.

MoreCom offers cable, satellite and digital-terrestrial operators a complete, end-to-end software solution to merge

digital video with Internet content for television applications using existing broadband networks and digital set-top boxes.

As part of the transaction, Liberate also obtains MoreCom' s patent portfolio, which addresses various aspects of digital television and Internet integration.

Liberate also gains access to two large MoreCom customers in Europe-German network operator The Kirch Group and Israeli cable operator Golden Channels, the latter of which has about 600,000 subscribers in that country.

Kirch, one of the largest network operators in Germany, is in the process of making interactive TV available to about 4 million subscribers over both satellite and cable. irch, one of the largest network operators in Germany, is in the process of making interactive TV available to about 4 million subscribers over both satellite and cable.

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