OpenTV to Buy Static for Cash and Stock

OpenTV Inc., a leading supplier of interactive TV software to satellite and cable operators, announced Thursday a deal to acquire Static, a privately held company in London that develops and operates interactive TV games.

The cash and stock deal, valued at $59 million, gives Mountain View, Calif.-based OpenTV control over a popular European games channel that generates revenue steadily from advertisers and prize-seeking consumers. Static's engineers also bring OpenTV the ability to write interactive applications for a wide range of satellite and cable boxes, not just those using OpenTV software, said OpenTV Chief Executive James Ackerman.

The company expects to reduce Static's staff of 120 by about 12% after the deal closes, which should happen early next month, Ackerman said. News of the acquisition drove OpenTV's shares down 9%, or $1.39, to close at $13.55 on Nasdaq.

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