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The Money Behind the Mania

Last week, we noted that videophone network and gear supplier (and former interactive television software player) WorldGate Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: WGAT) made a comeback of sorts. After WorldGate appeared to be on the brink of death, it and its largest customer, Snap!VRS, resolved a payment dispute. (See Ojo Still a Go-Go and WorldGate Winding Down .)

On Tuesday, both companies offered more details about the financial component of the arrangement. (See WorldGate Locks Up Funding.)

Under a new "long-term agreement," Aequus Technologies Corp., the parent of Snap, will buy $1.5 million worth of Ojo videophones, and pay WorldGate $5 million "to provide support and training" to enable Snap!VRS to build and operate their own data center.

So either Aequees is trying to protect itself from another WorldGate network shutdown or it's paving the way for an outright acquisition. After all, Snap!VRS is highly reliant on WorldGate, because it uses Ojo phones and the underlying network to facilitate communications for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

And thus closes another chapter in WorldGate's volatile history, though we'll keep you posted the next time WorldGate faces a major crisis. It's gotten rather good at living on the edge and just staying alive. Even a scuttled deal with Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) in 2006 couldn't destroy it.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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