Las Vegas, NV--April 6, 1997--At the annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters, Microsoft Corp. (Redmond, WA) announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire WebTV Networks Inc. (Palo Alto, CA) for approximately $425 million in stock and cash.
WebTV Networks offers a complete end-to-end system that provides consumers access to the Internet via television. WebTV Networks currently licenses its WebTV Reference Design for set-top boxes to two consumer electronics manufacturers--Philips Consumer Electronics Co. and Sony Electronics Inc. Set-top boxes enable television viewers to interactively "surf" the Internet by using a television remote control, without sacrificing the content or capabilities available to conventional Internet enthusiasts.
Microsoft has indicated that the WebTV offerings will, over time, take advantage of key Microsoft technologies, including multimedia versions of Windows CE, Microsoft's recently introduced operating system designed for a variety of mobile computing, entertainment, and embedded applications.
WebTV Networks will operate as a subsidiary of Microsoft and retain its offices and staff in Palo Alto. Steve Perlman, co-founder, president, and CEO of WebTV Networks, will continue to manage the WebTV Networks subsidiary and will report to Craig Mundie, Microsoft Senior vice president.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.
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