DirecTV, NDS row to be resolved by year end

LONDON: US satellite television provider DirecTV and NDS have agreed to a stay on the litigation between them. This is applicable until NDS' parent News Corp gets the go ahead to buy a 34 per cent stake in DirecTV parent Hughes Electronics Corp.

NDS provides DirecTV with its conditional access system. Murdoch's acquisition of DirectTV is expected to go through by the end of the year. An official release informs that the acquisition is currently undergoing regulatory review. When the deal is cleared, all claims and counter claims will be dismissed.

The companies have also stated that DirecTV will commence distribution of a new conditional access viewing card D1 that combines DirecTV and NDS technology. The two companies also said that they are discussing plans for future generation of conditional access viewing cards that DirecTV can use.

In January, NDS stated that a US district court judge had dismissed most of DirecTV's lawsuit which had been filed in September 2002. The lawsuit alleged among other things, breach of contract, fraud, breach of warranty and misappropriation of trade secrets. DirecTV had stated that it wanted to drop NDS as a vendor and make its own viewing cards. NDS later counter sued DirecTV for misappropriation of trade secrets in January.

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