Just one day after teaming up with IBM to develop a secure way of delivering music online, Real Networks has confirmed it is acquiring MP3 leader Xing Technology in a deal worth $75 million.
"Xing has been at the core of the exploding MP3 revolution since its inception," Real Networks' chief executive Rob Glaser said in a statement Tuesday. "With the acquisition of Xing, Real Networks can now better serve the huge market of new artists choosing to use MP3 to legally distribute their work."
The MP3 format is an extremely popular way of distributing music over the Internet right now, but it has made the record industry see red as it does not protect copyright. Xing released its first MP3 application in 1990, so it has been at the forefront of the music compression format?s development.
Hassan Miah, Xing's chief executive, said Real provided the best opportunities to grow MP3 technology.
"By combining our standards based technology with Real Networks' market leading Realsystem G2, the near ubiquity of their 57 million Realplayer registered users and their many strategic partners, we think this acquisition has helped to create a company even more able to deliver the most exciting digital audio experience," he explained.
Xing maintains that the vast majority of consumer MP3 files have been created using its Audiocatalyst MP3 encoding software.
Despite widening support for MP3 amongst the industry and consumers, the format is still like a red rag to a bull for the music industry which believes it will send music piracy spiralling out of control as it does not ensure copright protection.
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