IPTV & the ALU, Microsoft soap opera

Microsoft Corp. and Alcatel-Lucent seems to have decided to enact some of the popular themes seen on day time, thus spicing up the technology headlines this morning. Unless they bury their hatchet soon, this feud is going to end up costing telecoms billions.

Microsoft (MSFT) has been ordered by a federal jury to pay $1.52 billion to ALU as compensation over a patent dispute involving the MP3 format. Unfortunately, it is not the only dispute the two companies are involved in. In 2006, Alcatel-Lucent sued Microsoft, charging that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 infringes on some of their video decoding related patents. Stung by the charges, Microsoft sued back, charging that the telecom gear maker had infringed upon four patents mostly related to computer telephony, messaging and video communications.

Now all this would be fine, if it was two aging tech titans were showboating, except there are billions of dollars riding on their “partnership” related to what else, tech-fad of the moment, IPTV.

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Why did Fox buy Strategic Data

Fox Interactive Media, the company behind MySpace, has decided to take control of some of its ever-increasing page inventory. FIM is betting that an acquisition of the online ad company Strategic Data Corp. is going help it better monetize its inventory, a subtle admission that it is leaving money on the table and is getting very low CPMs.

This is a tactical acquisition: FIM needs to show a quick revenue boost and become a meaningful part of News Corp.’s revenue stream. You can only wow Wall Street with big page-view data for so long. It is becoming obvious 2007 is the “show me the money” year for MySpace and other FIM acquisitions.
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