There are strong indications Australian video-on-demand specialist Entertainment Media and Telecoms (EMT) will acquire the in-room entertainment business of US wireless giant, Verizon.
EMT last week issued a statement to the Australian stock exchange announcing that it was in the late stages of negotiation with a US group over deployment of its Intrigue digital video-on-demand system and the "acquisition of its North American customer base".
EMT executive chairman, Peter Dykes, yesterday refused to discuss the negotiations in detail but conceded that attaining Verizon's customers was an attractive proposition.
"If you're asking me, 'would we like to buy Verizon's customer database?' the answer is yes," said Dykes.
Verizon and EMT are currently both partners with General Dynamics to deploy its Intrigue DVoD system. According to Dykes, EMT won its partnership after Verizon baulked at a deal to supply Intrigue to a 293-room Massachusetts hotel near Harvard.
Verizon currently offers the Intrigue system to its hospitality customers as part of a telephony package that includes wireless voice and data, broadband Internet access and conventional telephony services.
Dykes claims Verizon has lost its enthusiasm for taking on new deals involving the Intrigue in-house entertainment system.
"They thought they would pick up a lot of business as result of them offering [Intrigue] and it just never happened," said Dykes.
Dykes indicated that it was looking to move "aggressively" into the US market and hinted that other companies and business divisions may lay in the EMT's sights for acquisition.
According to Dykes, many large US telephony companies were trimming their service offerings to focus on their core businesses and that there was a hodgepodge of smaller digital entertainment companies that it could acquire cheaply through share deals.
Verizon failed to respond to ZDNet Australia's requests for comment on the situation in time for publication.
EMT said it expected to announce the result of its negotiations in the US by mid-July.