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Motorola expands music service, buys Soundbuzz

Mobile music download service to grow

In a bid to expand its mobile music offerings, Motorola is set to acquire online music store Soundbuzz, Motorola said today.

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close during the current quarter, were not disclosed.

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"Soundbuzz will become part of the Motorola entertainment family," said Ian Chapman-Banks, vice president of marketing at Motorola Asia-Pacific's mobile devices unit, at a press conference in Singapore.

Motorola hopes the acquisition of privately-held Soundbuzz will make it the top online music seller in Asia, Chapman-Banks said, citing Soundbuzz's existing relationships with recording companies as well as mobile operators in India, Australia, Singapore, and other countries in Asia.

The Soundbuzz acquisition will complement Motorola's own mobile music service, called MotoMusic, which is available in China, Chapman-Banks said.

For its part, Soundbuzz is counting on Motorola's backing to expand its reach in Asia.

"Through the resources we're going to have access to, it's going to help us expand our offerings," said Sudhanshu Sarronwala, Soundbuzz's CEO, without disclosing details of the company's plans.

Soundbuzz offers mobile downloads based on Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) digital rights management (DRM) technology. An online music store for PCs operated by the company offers music downloads based on DRM technology developed by Microsoft.

The use of OMA DRM for mobile downloads, such as ringtones and ringback tones, means Soundbuzz's mobile download service will continue to support handsets made by a variety of companies, not just Motorola, Sarronwala said.

Both the PC music store and the mobile-download service will continue to operate as usual following the Motorola acquisition, Sarronwala said.

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