Microsoft has added a second multi-million dollar stake in Dutch cable operator Unitedglobalcom to the string of cable industry investments it has made this year.
Microsoft invested an initial $300 million in United in January and today announced it had joined forces with Liberty Media Corporation to buy a further $493 million stake in the venture.
As part of the deal, Microsoft and Liberty will form a joint venture with United's European subsidiary, United Pan-Europe Communications (UPG), to evaluate European content and distribution opportunities.
Senior analyst at Schema, Robin Duke-Woolley said the move was, "clearly consistent with what Microsoft have been doing investing in a lot of cable companies in Europe and the US."
Microsoft would continue to look for investment opportunities where its financial input could make a significant difference to the success of the venture and its own success as a software interface supplier, Duke-Woolley said.
"It's a means to an end - they want to get their interface and applications in front of customers," he said.
Microsoft chief financial officer Greg Maffei and Liberty chairman John Malone will join the UPC Board once the deal is completed.
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