Microsoft, Time Warner and Thomson today completed their three-way acquisition of digital rights management (DRM) firm ContentGuard.
The announcement follows on from 29 March 2004 when Microsoft and Time Warner initially acquired joint control over ContentGuard, and the takeover was notified to the European Commission which initiated an investigation.
According to the companies this initial takeover operation has been abandoned, with Thomson taking a third stake. Given the resulting "ownership and control structure", the new operation is not subject to review under EU merger regulations.
Thomson, Microsoft and Time Warner will each hold equal 33 per cent voting positions in ContentGuard and will each appoint two seats on the firm's board.
ContentGuard's "three strategic investors" aim to develop interoperable DRM systems, accelerate the deployment of consumer devices that support DRM, and encourage content owners to launch secure distribution channels.
"We appreciate the hard work the Commission has done on this case and we are pleased that it could be resolved in a way that was mutually agreeable," said Paul Cappuccio, Time Warner executive vice president and general counsel.
Brad Smith, Microsoft senior vice president and general counsel, added: "We all worked closely and constructively with the Commission throughout this process and are pleased to reach this resolution."
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