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Motorola to buy Linux set-top box specialist

Chipmaker plans to acquire Kreatel Communications to boost Internet-based TV services.

Motorola plans to acquire Kreatel Communications, a Swedish developer of television set-top boxes that use Linux and Internet Protocol-based services, the company said Tuesday.

Kreatel's system includes not just the operating system but also higher-level application and infrastructure software for sending TV signals over the Internet. Kreatel customers include Telefonica in Spain, TeliaSonera in Sweden and KPN in the Netherlands.

The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first quarter of the year. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Motorola is among the companies hoping to profit by use of Linux in embedded computing devices--systems other than conventional PCs or servers, such as network gear. Motorola expects most of its mobile phones to use Linux eventually.

The Kreatel technology is complementary to Motorola's products that deliver home video via cable, DSL (digital subscriber line), and fiber-optic lines, Schaumberg, Ill.-based Motorola said. Kreatel's managers and employees will become part of Motorola's Connected Home Solutions business in Horsham, Pa.