Ericsson to buy Microsoft TV unit?

Ericsson is in talks to acquire Microsoft’s Mediaroom IPTV business and a deal could be announced within a few weeks, according to Bloomberg.

The move will also help Ericsson step up its emphasis on software and services amid accelerating competition in hardware. Software maker Microsoft intends to focus on delivering TV through its Xbox game console.

AT&T, the largest telco in the US, uses Microsoft’s IPTV in U-Verse, which combines television with other communications services, such as Internet access. AT&T had 4.5 million U-Verse video subscribers at the end of 2012. Microsoft’s other IPTV customers include Deutsche Telekom, Beeline and Telefonica.

Microsoft has focused in recent years on delivering TV- related entertainment services via its Xbox 360 console, striking distribution deals for Xbox Live with such partners as Viacom and Walt Disney’s ESPN.

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