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PricewaterhouseCoopers takes stake in InterTrust

The Big Five consulting firm makes an equity investment of an undisclosed amount in the digital rights management firm.

InterTrust Technologies today said it has formed an alliance and cut a licensing deal with consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers for InterTrust's digital rights management products.

As part of the deal, PricewaterhouseCoopers has made an equity investment of an undisclosed amount in the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company, the companies said in a statement. PricewaterhouseCoopers said it has also agreed to use InterTrust as the preferred digital rights management (DRM) provider for its clients and is licensed to sell InterTrust products, offer consulting services, and implement and manage the DRM software.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

InterTrust, one of the early players in DRM, gives content providers a way to block illegal copying with its flagship product, MetaTrust Utility. InterTrust competes against companies like Reciprocal, another DRM pioneer, and Canada-based RightMarkets.com. The DRM market has been gaining wider attention from investors in recent months.

Yesterday, Reciprocal announced that key IBM executive John Schwartz has joined the company as chief executive. Last November, Reciprocal nabbed a $35 million round in financing from a broad investing group including Xerox and Hewlett-Packard.

PricewaterhouseCoopers and InterTrust said they will work together to provide the technology and services necessary for clients to manage and protect digital products, such as music, video, games, images and business information. PricewaterhouseCoopers said it will also use InterTrust technology to develop DigiHub, an online service center that will process, analyze and protect business data and proprietary content.