3Com to rocket Internet radio market with Kerbango acquisition

Published July 2nd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

3Com Corporation announced in a press release earlier this week that it is in the process of acquiring outstanding stock of Kerbango, Inc., the developer of the world's first standalone Internet radio, radio tuning system and radio web site through an $80 million deal. 

"For us, joining 3Com is like strapping a booster rocket to Kerbango. 3Com has the manufacturing, distribution and strategic partnerships, as well as a proven track record and a strong brand with consumers, which we intend to immediately leverage," Kerbango CEO Jon Fitch said. 


"We chose 3Com because the two companies share the same goal: to create radically simple and rich network solutions for consumers that will fuel the adoption of Internet appliances like Kerbango's Internet Radio," Fitch added. 

Kerbango was founded in 1998 by former Apple Computer and Power Computing executives, and joined by radio veterans from OnRadio, Kerbango, Inc. -- a privately held Cupertino, Calif. Company.  

With the acquisition of the 28-man strong Kerbango, 3Com promised in the press release that "it will offer consumers a rich Internet experience by providing a complete Internet audio solution for the home and office." 

"One of the most exciting next waves of networking connectivity will take place in the home with Internet appliances," said Eric Benhamou, chairman and chief executive officer of 3Com. 

Kerbango is the World's First Internet Radio, which allows people listen to Internet radio without any connection to a personal computer -- all that people need is an existing connection via an Internet Service Provider (ISP). 


In related developments, Thomson Multimedia announced in a press release that it had signed a Letter of Intent with Kerbango to brand and distribute an RCA brand Internet Radio that utilizes the Kerbango Internet Radio Tuning Service. 

After closing its acquisition of Kerbango, 3Com said that intends to follow a similar licensing strategy of forming alliances with key distribution partners to increase distribution of Kerbango products and services. 

In the meantime, 3Com's Kerbango acquisition comes as part of its strategy this year to target what it calls the "digital home." To that end, 3com provides cable and DSL modems, home networking, residential gateway products and PC web cams, aimed at the consumer electronics market -- (Albawaba.com)

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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