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Macrovision to pick up InstallShield

The former hopes to streamline its antipiracy technology with the latter's installation software.

Macrovision said Thursday it will acquire InstallShield, which makes software installation tools, for $76 million in cash.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Macrovision, a maker of copy-protection technology, said it may pay an additional $20 million for Schaumburg, Ill.-based InstallShield, depending on the two companies' performance after the transaction is complete.

InstallShield's products let software developers build tools that help end users adopt or update their products.

The planned acquisition underscores Macrovision's growing prospects, as concerns over the unauthorized copying of software and other content continue to mount. Macrovision is hoping to streamline its existing product line, which includes technology for preventing unauthorized copying of everything from software to CDs, through the addition of InstallShield's integration-management applications.

"Our software-developer customers told us that they want (technology) that allows them to protect, deliver, install and update their software, allowing them to focus on development and release of their products," Bill Krepick, chief executive of Macrovision, said in a statement.

Macrovision has been at the forefront of the battle against technology that helps individuals copy or share protected content such as movies, music and video games.

The company has been one of the most outspoken detractors of 321 Studios, which it sued in January. On Wednesday, 321 Studios, which makes software for copying DVDs, confirmed that it may shut its doors in the wake of its legal battles with Macrovision and others, including a trio of large video game makers.

Copyright law give people the right to make their own backup . In most cases, music discs do not have copy-protection coding to block such duplication. However, DVDs and many software packages and video games have digital rights management tools such as Macrovision's that prevent copying.

The companies said they plan to complete the acquisition by the third quarter. After the deal is closed, InstallShield will be merged with Macrovision's Software Technologies Group.