InfoSpace acquires Moviso for $25 million
By siliconindia | Thursday, 23 October 2003, 07:00 Hrs
BELLEVUE: InfoSpace, Inc. has announced a definitive agreement to acquire North American mobile media leader Moviso LLC from Vivendi Universal Net USA for $25 million in cash. "We are excited to join forces with a leader in the fast growing mobile media space," said Jim Voelker, chairman and chief executive officer of InfoSpace, Inc. "Together we will be one of the largest players in the mobile data industry, with extensive content offerings, strong carrier relationships and broad subscriber reach." Moviso, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vivendi Universal Net USA Group Inc., is one of the leading providers of mobile media content, entertainment and personalization services in North America, with distribution to major carriers such as Cingular Wireless, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and AT&T Wireless. Mobile media, consisting of ringtones, graphics, video and games, is one of the fastest growing segments of the wireless data market. With thousands of titles from more than 250 licensors, such as major music and sound effect companies, celebrities, and audio and graphical studios, Moviso offers one of the largest licensed catalogs of mobile media today. In the third quarter of 2003, Moviso generated more than $3 million in revenue and was close to break-even on an operating basis. "Together, InfoSpace and Moviso will have a leading position in the exciting mobile media market," said Kendra VanderMeulen, executive vice president, InfoSpace Mobile. "With expanded end-user reach and an extensive content library, we can offer compelling marketing and promotional opportunities to content brands and media companies, helping to get their content and applications quickly and easily into as many subscriber hands as possible. Carriers will benefit from expanded capabilities and accelerated availability of applications and content to drive their mobile data revenue streams." "The acquisition by InfoSpace marks a logical next step in the growth and consolidation of the North American mobile data industry," said Anthony Stonefield, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Moviso LLC. "The greater base of resources and combined content and distribution make this alliance of companies unparalleled in what it will deliver to the industry." InfoSpace Mobile develops, delivers and supports wireless data solutions that make it possible for media companies and content brands to reach a wide audience of wireless subscribers with compelling content and marketing promotions. InfoSpace Mobile's applications delivery platform is designed for broad user reach, allowing for the delivery of content across multiple carriers and a wide array of mobile devices supporting standards including SMS, MMS, WAP, xHTML, J2ME and BREW. The acquisition of Moviso will allow InfoSpace Mobile to offer an even wider array of content applications to branded content providers and carriers, by adding media, personalization and entertainment services to InfoSpace Mobile's existing content library. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2003, subject to certain conditions.