Google is to purchase DRM provider Widevine in a move that gives the internet company access to Widevine’s multiplatform DRM and video optimisation technologies. No financial terms have been disclosed.
Seattle-based Widevine’s customers include Lovefilm, Netflix, Deutsche Telekom, ADB, Echostar, LG Electronics and Samsung. Its purchase will enable Google to compete against Microsoft in the provision of video services through both PCs and other connected devices.
“By working with Google, we are even further committed to the consumer internet video experience and to the needs of content owners,” said Widevine CEO Brian Baker. “We are excited to have access to Google’s vast resources as we continue to improve our products, support our customers, and meet the future needs of consumers, content owners, service providers and device manufacturers everywhere.”
Google said it was committed to maintaining Widevine’s agreements and would build upon Widevine technology to support existing and future clients. “The Widevine team has worked to provide a better video delivery experience for businesses of all kinds: from the studios that create your favorite shows and movies, to the cable systems and channels that broadcast them online and on TV, to the hardware manufacturers that let you watch that content on a variety of devices,” said Mario Queiroz, VP of product management on the Google blog.
A series of funding rounds have sunk some $45 million into the firm, founded by Baker in 1999. John Malone’s Liberty Global and Samsung Ventures joined the shareholder base as part of a $15 million funding round in December 2009. Other shareholders included Cisco Systems, Charter Ventures, Constellation Ventures, Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd (DNP), PaceSetter Capital Group, Phoenix Partners, TELUS, VantagePoint Venture Partners and Western Technology Investments.
The second security company to announce its intention to sell in recent weeks, the purchase of Widevine follows November’s £28.75 million (€33.03 million) acquisition of Latens Systems by Pace.
In March Widevine settled a long running patent dispute with rival Verimatrix. The charge in the Eastern District of Texas related to US Patent Nos. 7,165,175 and 7,376,831 entitled ‘Apparatus, System and Method For Selectively Encrypting Different Portions Of Data Sent Over A Network.’