Malaysian billionaire sues NDS

MUMBAI: Suits and countersuits are flying thick and fast around the technology arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, NDS Group.

A day after NDS countersued DirecTV, claiming its ex-customer had misappropriated trade secrets, a Malaysian billionaire, Ananda Krishnan, has pitched into the fray,, quoting The Los Angeles Times, has reported today.

Krishnan's Malaysian satellite group, MEASAT Broadcast Network Systems, had applied last Friday to intervene in proceedings in California between NDS and rival encryption group Canal Plus Technologies.

MEASAT's entry into the proceedings adds a new twist to this ongoing saga as Canal Plus was to have dropped its suit as part of a deal struck earlier this month when its parent company, Vivendi Communications, sold its Italian pay-TV operation, Telepi, to News Corp.

No details were available of the claim by MEASAT, which uses CPT encryption smartcards with its Astro satellite pay-TV service in Malaysia. It has an estimated 800,000 subscribers.

US satellite broadcaster DirecTV sued NDS for fraud, while its "almost but not quite partner" EchoStar, applied to intervene in the Canal Plus case, claiming that NDS had also hacked its NagraStar smartcard.

NDS has repeatedly denied all allegations, which its says are "baseless and motivated by a desire on the part of certain persons and entities to cause harm to NDS and to thwart legitimate competition from NDS".

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