Samsung buys Boxee

South Korean electronics giant Samsung has purchased Boxee, the start-up confirmed to CNET.

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

"Samsung has acquired key talent and assets from Boxee," a spokeswoman for Samsung said. "This will help us continue to improve the overall user experience across our connected devices." Earlier, TechCrunch reported the acquisition at a price of about US$30 million, citing unnamed sources. That followed reports from Israeli media about a deal.

Boxee had been shopping itself around, first trying to scrounge up a new round of funding and then courting outright buyers, according to recent reports.

Boxee was among the first companies to offer a product that streams movies and shows from internet services directly to the TV. But as the market for that grew more competitive, with the likes of Roku, Apple TV and Samsung itself entering the fray, Boxee has struggled to make its voice heard — and has grappled to find traction when it expanded into a related arena.

As it broadened itself away from open-source software, it turned to services like cloud-based DVR. But the market for set-top boxes has grown rife with competitors, including cable and satellite TV companies that have their own DVR services.

The takeover, for a relatively low price, is the latest in a parade of Samsung investments, as the consumer-electronics maker hunts out ways to innovate and to expand its customer base. Recently, it's taken stakes both high profile (an investment in panel-maker Sharp) and low key (such as investments in stylus maker Wacom and storage-software company Nvelo).


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