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Cisco puckers up

Cisco puckers up

Cisco Systems is jumping into the consumer electronics game. The networking giant announced that it's acquired Danish company KiSS Technology for $61 million in cash and stock. KiSS's products, such as the DP-500, gained notoriety in Europe for pioneering network-ready home electronics that stream digital audio and video from attached computers and the Internet. And while KiSS products were among the first non-PC devices that were officially certified to play DivX video, high prices and the lack of a major North American distributor restricted them to niche status in the States. Cisco's news release emphasizes that KiSS's electronics experience is a perfect fit with the consumer networking expertise of Linksys (which Cisco acquired in 2003). And while every corporate merger and acquisition is trumpeted as a textbook example of synergy, the KiSS/Linksys pairing does have a certain logic to it that, say, an AOL and Time Warner pairing did not. We'll be looking forward to what the Cisco/Linksys-energized KiSS has to offer at next year's CES.