Comcast & Reportedly Eye Icontrol

The industry is buzzing about an imminent split-up and acquisition of Icontrol by Comcast and

Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video

June 13, 2016

2 Min Read
Comcast & Reportedly Eye Icontrol

Are Comcast and preparing to buy and split up Icontrol? According to multiple sources, rumors have been circulating for several weeks, if not months, about this potential deal.

IoT journalist Stacey Higginbotham was first to report on the news, but NextMarket Insights analyst Michael Wolf was quick to follow up with further confirmation. Plus, a well-placed source told Light Reading he has it "on very good authority that the sale of Icontrol is imminent."

According to the industry buzz, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is poised to take over Icontrol Networks Inc. 's Zigbee-based smart home products and the majority of its patents, while Inc. is expected to slice off Icontrol's Z-wave product portfolio, a handful of patents and the Piper home monitoring assets that Icontrol acquired in 2014.

So far, none of the companies involved are commenting on potential transactions.

Per the Crunchbase database, Icontrol has raised more than $90 million from investors (including Comcast) since its founding in 2003.

Want to know more about the Internet of Things? Check out our dedicated IoT content channel here on Light Reading.

Within the North American cable industry, Icontrol has dominated as the smart home platform of choice for large operators. Comcast, Time Warner Cable (now Charter Communications Inc. ), Cox Communications Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI) are all Icontrol customers, with a host of smaller operators also adopting the platform. However, Icontrol has encountered headwinds in recent years with Comcast deciding to take a portion of its smart home product development in-house and pressure mounting from rivals like (See CES Redux: State of the Smart Home Wars.)

With Icontrol's grip on the market loosening, it naturally becomes a more attractive takeover target. And for both Comcast and, Icontrol's assets could prove to be a valuable complement to existing product suites.

While the acquisition of Icontrol makes sense for Comcast and, it's an open question how current customers would feel about the deal. In particular, Charter may soon find itself licensing smart home technology from Comcast, and for all of cable's fraternity, that fact may sting. Charter has been careful to develop its own ecosystem of technology and vendors and has set itself up to be a foil to Comcast within the US cable market. The newly enlarged cable company could stick with the Icontrol platform, or it might decide to go in a new direction with the TWC IntelligentHome services it recently acquired.

Among the other smart home platform options for cable providers are, which earned a significant customer win with Suddenlink Communications in 2015, Vivint Inc. and Zonoff. (See Suddenlink Sounds Alarm for Smart Homes.)

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Mari Silbey

Senior Editor, Cable/Video

Mari Silbey is a senior editor covering broadband infrastructure, video delivery, smart cities and all things cable. Previously, she worked independently for nearly a decade, contributing to trade publications, authoring custom research reports and consulting for a variety of corporate and association clients. Among her storied (and sometimes dubious) achievements, Mari launched the corporate blog for Motorola's Home division way back in 2007, ran a content development program for Limelight Networks and did her best to entertain the video nerd masses as a long-time columnist for the media blog Zatz Not Funny. She is based in Washington, D.C.

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