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November 12, 2001
AOL TIME WARNER AND SONY COLLABORATE TO ACCELERATE NEXT-GENERATION ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT AND OTHER CONSUMER BROADBAND EXPERIENCES
Companies to Jointly Develop Open Broadband Home Network Environment Delivering a Variety of Services Through Wide Range of Connected Devices
Las Vegas (COMDEX), November 12, 2001 - AOL Time Warner Inc. and Sony Corporation today announced an agreement to expand their strategic relationship, joining together on a range of initiatives to create a new open broadband home networking environment that will allow for delivery of next-generation online entertainment and other consumer experiences. The companies will work together to develop easy-to-use home networking technologies that will enable consumers to enjoy a variety of content and services.
The initiatives announced today will combine AOL Time Warner's hallmark ability to deliver the highest degree of convenience and ease-of-use through the online medium with Sony's leadership in consumer electronics. They reflect a common vision of how broadband services and home networks can empower consumers to enjoy a variety of new network services simply through a wide range of connected home entertainment devices such as televisions, audio equipment, and other electronic devices.
To achieve this vision, the two companies have agreed to create the open broadband environment jointly, and to work together on a number of initiatives including:
-The joint development of broadband home networking gateway technologies that will enable consumers to take advantage of a wide range of new online entertainment and other experiences, easily accessing broadband services from multiple PCs and other devices simultaneously, as well as sharing stored entertainment content among multiple devices with proper copyright management;
-The joint development of an Internet browser designed for optimal performance, a consistent experience, and greater convenience on networked consumer electronic devices. Both companies envision not only employing the browser in future Sony products but also making it available to other consumer electronics manufacturers;
-The joint exploration of AOL providing access service for Sony's networked consumer electronics devices in the U.S., which would make it possible to extend consumers' networking experiences beyond personal computers.
Steve Case, chairman of AOL Time Warner said: "Consumers want the Internet to play a greater role in their lives, and are looking forward to the day when broadband can deliver all of a family's home entertainment, information and communication needs over a wide variety of devices. By working closely with Sony, one of the world's most innovative companies and a leader in home electronics, we will develop connected products and services for the digital household that are easy to install and easy to use. Working together, we can help make the promise of convergence a reality, benefiting consumers and accelerating the growth of our industries."
Jerry Levin, chief executive officer of AOL Time Warner said: "This partnership advances two of AOL Time Warner's most important initiatives. Making home networking easy will enhance the value of our AOL High-Speed Broadband offerings, which are enjoying great momentum as we continue our rollout over Time Warner Cable systems from coast to coast, as well as on the DSL and satellite platforms. And this new networked home environment will be a major step forward for our AOL Anywhere strategy - giving consumers who've made going online a central part of their daily lives new ways to take advantage of the service's convenience wherever they are, whenever they want."
Nobuyuki Idei, chairman and CEO of Sony Corporation said: "Sony has always offered new lifestyles since it was founded through the pursuit of personal entertainment and allowing people to fulfill their dreams. In the coming broadband network era, Sony hopes to continue creating new lifestyles by providing attractive hardware and content, as well as strengthening our relationship with customers by creating a community of users who share common values and interests. Sony sells over 100 million units of consumer electronic devices every year, and by having these products network-ready, it will be possible for users to access a variety of content services. Through the collaboration we will be able to accelerate the realization of a broadband environment."
Kunitake Ando, president and COO of Sony Corporation, said: "In order to make our Ubiquitous 'Value' Network a reality, Sony promotes the strength of a hardware platform that connects customers to content and services. We are extremely pleased to announce this collaboration with AOL Time Warner, Inc. to build an open broadband networking environment, which we feel will lead to the faster acceptance of Sony's vision of a Ubiquitous 'Value' Network. Combining Sony's core competencies in creating hardware and new lifestyle, with AOL Time Warner's expertise in contents and service management experience as the most popular Internet Service Provider in the U.S. with over 31 million subscribers worldwide, will facilitate the development of the Ubiquitous 'Value' Network. We believe this collaboration will offer consumers an enhanced broadband experience and create new business opportunities for the whole industry."
These agreements specify that the two company's relationships are non-exclusive, and that the network software and services to be developed will have an open architecture.