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DoJ Wants a Closer Look at Arris-Moto Deal

Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.
  • Arris Group Inc.'s proposed US$2.35 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility LLC's Home unit from Google has encountered a hiccup in the form of the U.S. Department of Justice, which is seeking more detail on the deal. Arris didn't specify exactly what information the DoJ wants in this "second request," but the vendor said Monday that it "believes the transaction is pro-competitive and will create compelling new opportunities for its customers and partners worldwide. Close scrutiny is typical in transactions of this size." (See Motorola & Arris: Product Gaps & Overlaps and Comcast to Plow $150M Into Arris.) The DoJ request will extend the waiting period imposed by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act until 30 days after Arris and Google have complied with it, unless it's extended voluntarily by Arris or Google or terminated sooner by the DoJ. Arris said it still expects to close the deal in the second quarter of 2013. On last week's fourth-quarter earnings call, Arris CEO Bob Stanzione said the deal was on track and that the financing commitments were nearly finalized. But he did acknowledge that the deal is "in that awkward period as we await DoJ approval." (See Arris: CCAP Revenues Start to Trickle In.)
  • Yep, ThinkAnalytics Ltd. is on a tear. The company says more than 100 million licensed subscribers have access to its multi-screen video recommendations engine after it notched recent wins with Cox Communications Inc., Swisscom AG, ZON, Canal Digital and Germany's Unitymedia, which, in essence, is an expansion of ThinkAnalytics's existing relationship with Liberty Global Inc. The closely held vendor doesn't reveal specific financials details, but did say revenues and profits doubled in 2012. ThinkAnalytics has a license for Comcast Corp.'s Reference Design Kit (RDK) for advanced gateways and set-tops, but hasn't announced a deal with that particular MSO. (See Brits Rev Up Recommendations Engine and Who's on Board With Comcast's Set-Top Kit?)
  • Cablevision Systems Corp. has signed on Telarus Inc. to hawk its Optimum-branded services to small and mid-sized business customers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut (Cablevision hunts for enterprise-sized game via its Ethernet-powered Lightpath division). Telarus has notched similar business service distribution deals with Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc. and Charter Communications Inc., according to Channel Partners Online.
  • Starz Entertainment LLC has extended its pay-TV deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment through 2021, a deal that will keep movies like The Amazing Spider-Man and Zero Dark Thirty out of the hands of Netflix Inc. for a while. Netflix recently swooped in to score a pay-TV deal with Walt Disney Co., whose contract with Starz runs out in 2016. The new Starz-Sony deal is likely worth $300 million per year, roughly what Netflix is believed to be paying for the Disney accord, Reuters reports, citing Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Inc. analyst estimates. (See Netflix Swipes Disney Deal From Starz.)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



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