Security Platforms/Tools

Kudelski Embeds EmbedICs

Well, here’s a deal that fell below the radar…

Not long after EmbedICs Inc. announced a design relationship with PolyCipher LLC -- the downloadable conditional access system (DCAS) venture among Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), and Cox Communications Inc. -- the Columbia, Md.-based data security engineering firm was acquired. The buyer: Kudelski Group , otherwise known as the mother ship of conditional access and digital rights management specialist Nagravision SA .

Not that many people noticed, but the deal was quietly announced on Feb. 8, 2008. EmbedICs formally announced its relationship with PolyCipher on Feb. 4, but the deal with Kudelski was apparently not important enough to warrant posting on the EmbedICs Website.

So does this mean Nagravision is suddenly positioned to expand its role in the PolyCipher project? That will depend on whether there’s still a role to play there and if the downloadable CA system PolyCipher is developing reaches deployment anytime soon. And we are hearing that it’s still a pretty big if. We are also getting the sense that EmbecICs’ business outside of PolyCipher is what Kudelski found to be the most attractive, anyway.

And we'd be remiss not to factor in the rumors zipping around that the current U.S. cable conditional access duopoly of Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) and Scientific Atlanta / Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is angling (or being asked) to take on more responsibility when it comes to the clandestine DCAS project.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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