Tribune Co. to buy music data company Gracenote for $170 million


Tribune Co. has reached an agreement with Sony Corp. of America to acquire Gracenote Inc., a music data company.

Tribune, the parent of the Los Angeles Times, will pay $170 million for the company in a deal expected to close within the first quarter of 2014. In a statement Monday, Tribune said it will combine Gracenote with Tribune Media Services, which provides television and movie metadata.

“As we strategically invest in growth areas, increase our scale, and extend our core businesses, Gracenote is an ideal addition to our portfolio,” Peter Liguori, Tribune’s chief executive, said in an email to Tribune’s staff. “Bringing together Gracenote with Tribune Media Services will create one of the largest entertainment metadata companies in the world.”


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Gracenote, which is headquartered in Emeryville, Calif., was bought by Sony in 2008. Its technology is used in mobile devices and tablet applications, including Apple Inc.’s iTunes, and in 50 million automobiles.

The deal was forged by Shashi Seth, president of Tribune Digital Ventures. Tribune hired Seth, a former Yahoo Inc. executive, in May.


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