Vivendi Tunes Into Sun iTV, May Sell AOL Shares

Canal Plus Technologies, a subsidiary of Vivendi Universal , Monday entered a global partnership with Sun Microsystems Inc. to
accelerate Java technology-based open standards for interactive digital
television.

Working together, the two companies plan to assist operators and content
providers in developing entertainment, news, information, and educational
services as well as promote industry acceptance and rapid deployment of Java
technology in advanced digital set-top boxes.

“Canal Plus shares our vision that open platforms are critical to the
success of the global interactive television market,” said Patricia C.
Sueltz, executive vice president, Software Systems Group, Sun Microsystems.
” This initiative is a welcomed step, one we believe will benefit the iTV
market.”

iTV application servers for capabilities such as real-time interactive
gaming or chat applications intend to be ported to the Sun platform.

The agreement calls for Canal to license Sun’s PersonalJava platform for
integration with its MediaHighway middleware solution and port its cable
head-end infrastructure products to Sun’s Solaris Operating Environment and
Sun Cluster 3.0 software.

Meanwhile, Vivendi Universal has agreed in principle to sell its stake in
AOL France back to AOL Time Warner for $700 million, according to published
reports.

Shareholders in Vivendi Universal’s telecoms arm Cegetel, which owns part
of the stake, must however rubber-stamp the agreement before it can be made
public, according to Reuters.

“The agreements have been finalized but they are now in the hands of
Cegetel’s shareholders and there should be a result within two weeks,”
according to a Reuter’s source.

Vivendi Universal is selling its 55 percent stake in AOL France after
negotiations regarding swapping the holding for a share in AOL Europe fell
through. The stake is held through Vivendi’s Cegetel and Canal Plus units.

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