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Tech Industry

Intel branches into Web media with joint venture

The chipmaker and Excalibur Technologies will create a company that will help broadcasters, film studios and others bring content to the Web.

Intel and Excalibur Technologies have come together to create a company that will help broadcasters, film studios and others bring content to the Web.

The company, which does not have a name yet, will focus on software and services that allow content owners to create copyright-protected digital databases of video and other media. With secure databases in place, companies can distribute their content over the Internet.

"We are concentrating our business between the content providers and the downstream (carriers). This is a (business-to-business) services company," said Ron Whittier, CEO of the venture, adding that it will assist companies that "want to get more value out of their video."

Technology from both companies will play an instrumental part in the offerings. Excalibur's technology will be used to create indexing and retrieval systems for databases. Intel will contribute rights management systems, which prevent unlawful copying.

The deal dovetails into Intel's efforts to expand beyond the PC. Until this deal, Whittier served as the general manager of the chipmaker's Internet Media Services Division. It contemplated buying Excalibur and spinning off a new company in an initial public offering, but it decided to structure the deal as a joint venture to shave approximately nine months off the time required for an IPO.

Under the terms of the deal, Intel will own 60 percent of the venture and will hold a 49 percent voting interest, while Excalibur will own 40 percent. Pat Condo, Excalibur's CEO, will become the new company's chief operating officer and president.

The venture will sell packaged software products and act as a services consultant, Condo said.

Although the company will promote both Intel's and Excalibur's homegrown technologies, it will provide services geared toward software from other companies.

"The services that are going to be offered are generally intended be broad enough for one-stop shopping for the content providers," said Whittier. "We are not limiting (customers) to the content protection systems that currently exist in the Intel portfolio."