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NTT DoCoMo To Acquire PacketVideo

Japan’s largest mobile communications operator, NTT DoCoMo Inc., said Monday it will purchase the remaining 65% of PacketVideo Corp., a subsidiary of NextWave Wireless Inc., of San Diego, Calif., for $116 million. In July 2009, the Japanese carrier paid $45.5 million in cash to acquire a 35% share in PacketVideo, which makes multimedia software and media service platforms for mobile phones.

“DoCoMo aims to create synergies with PacketVideo for enhanced media services, including the creation of an all-new domain of services that allow users to easily link their mobile handsets with home electronic devices to remotely enjoy and share content,’’ the Tokyo-based carrier said in a statement.

Besides mobile phones, PacketVideo’s software also lets users share pictures, music and videos on PCs and consumer electronic devices including TVs, digital picture frames and audio equipment. It is used by mobile carriers and device manufacturers in North America, Europe and Asia.

When the equity partnership was announced last year, NextWave said the two companies had been working together since 1998, when DoCoMo began using PacketVideo technology for its FOMA 3G mobile network services. NextWave said at the time that more than 90 million DoCoMo handset models were running PacketVideo’s multimedia player, pvPlayer.

Under the terms of the agreement, James Bailean resigned as chief executive officer, chief operating officer and president of NextWave, and as a member of the board of directors.

He will continue to serve as president and CEO and as a member of the board of PacketVideo. In January 2010, NextWave was notified that it may be delisted from the NASDAQ stock exchange because of non-compliance with the $1 minimum bid price requirement. A NextWave spokesperson declined to comment on the acquisition.

Pending approval from parent company NextWave’s shareholders and U.S. regulators, the deal is expected to be finalized by the end of September, DoCoMo said. DoCoMo has more than 56 million customers in Japan. Its products include i-mode, a mobile email/internet platform and FOMA.