Advanced Television

Dolby buys GE licensing division

June 11, 2024

By Chris Forrester

Dolby Labs is to acquire GE Licensing, which owns, maintains, and licenses an extensive portfolio of IP, primarily targeting the consumer digital media and electronics sectors.

Dolby will pay $429 million (€399m) in an all cash transaction. This deal is expected to close by the end of fiscal year 2024, subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, and is not expected to have a material impact on Dolby’s fiscal year 2024 results. “This transaction includes attractive complementary assets that strengthen and expand Dolby’s patent portfolios, and represents a compelling financial profile of durable, high-margin revenue,” says Dolby.

This transaction is not expected to affect Dolby’s practice of returning capital to stockholders through its quarterly dividend and through stock repurchases to offset dilution from stock-based compensation.

Dolby says that GE Licensing is a leading innovator with world-class patents and licensing expertise, especially with respect to pioneering video codec technology. The transaction will include a portfolio of over 5,000 patents, including foundational patents in standard essential video compression. GE Aerospace will retain its portfolio of IP related to its core aerospace and defense technologies, as well as the trademark portfolio for the GE brand.

“GE Licensing is home to a number of essential innovations that power the modern world” said Andy Sherman, Dolby EVP/Patent Licensing and General Counsel. “An important part of Dolby’s strategy is providing value to our customers, partners, and the industry through open standards and collaborative pool licensing. This acquisition gives us the opportunity to continue to promote and support innovation within our ecosystems.”

This acquisition is an extension of Dolby’s existing licensing businesses. GE Licensing’s portfolio of video codec technology, such as HEVC and VVC, complement, strengthen, and expand the scale of Dolby’s intellectual property portfolio. Dolby is committed to continuing to facilitate the adoption of next-generation standardized technologies – enabling industry efficiency, continuity, and growth.

“Dolby is a trusted leader and innovator with a long history in licensing technologies and patents through collaborative structures,” said Robert Giglietti, GE Aerospace’s CEO of Corporate Holdings and Treasurer. “As GE Aerospace continues to sharpen its focus as a standalone company serving aerospace and defense customers, Dolby is the right partner for ensuring these innovative digital media technologies continue to serve businesses and consumers around the world.”

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