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Orange backs out of Kangaroo buy

The French Telecom-owned mobile operator found it wouldn't benefit from pursuing its interest in the catch-up TV service, which has faced additional setbacks
Written by Natasha Lomas, Contributor

Orange has walked away from talks to buy the Project Kangaroo online on-demand media player technology.

The mobile operator, which is owned by France Telecom, said in a statement: "We can confirm that we are not pursuing our interest in the catch-up TV service Kangaroo. After in-depth due diligence, we concluded that it was unlikely that an outcome which benefited France Telecom's Orange operations would be met."

Back in April the company confirmed it was engaged in talks to acquire the platform. In a statement at the time, France Telecom said: "We can confirm that we are looking at this project. Whilst it could be interesting, nothing has yet been decided."

Project Kangaroo started life as a joint venture between BBC Worldwide, Channel 4 and ITV to develop a platform to play on-demand content from all three. However, the Competition Commissioner blocked approval for the project in February on the grounds that it would threaten the developing video-on-demand market by putting too much control into the hands of the trio. Since then, the companies have been touting the Kangaroo tech for sale.

"Some very valuable digital assets were developed for Project Kangaroo and we're talking to various parties who are interested in acquiring them," a BBC Worldwide spokeswoman told ZDNet UK's sister site silicon.com last month.

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