Sony, RealNetworks Form Tech Alliance

Deepening a relationship that began more than two years ago, Sony Corp. and RealNetworks Inc. announced they have formed a strategic alliance to share digital audio and video technology. The agreement could result in Real making greater use of Sony's audio compression and security technology, and Sony incorporating Real software into more consumer-electronics devices.

Sony also agreed to buy a 1% stake in Seattle-based Real, but no other financial details were disclosed. The two companies share a rivalry with Microsoft Corp. in several areas, including audio and video compression and home-networking technology.

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