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Thomson, Gemstar Broaden Strategic Partnership

5/17/2002 12:57:00 PM Eastern

Paris - Thomson Multimedia and Gemstar-TV Guide International have signed a binding Letter of Intent to re-launch and broaden areas included in their Strategic Partnership.

Highlighting the deal is incorporation of Gemstar's interactive program guide (IPG) into Thomson televisions and access devices in North America. It also would include a long-term licensing relationship of Gemstar's IPG technology into Thomson devices, with focus on digital TVs, digital-ready TVs and digital recorders, as well as cooperation in interactive services and two-way response networks.

Thomson and Gemstar trace their relationship back to 1996, when they cooperated in developing and deploying IPG products under the name GUIDE Plus+ on Thomson TVs, which include the RCA brand.

Since then, with the corporate strategies of both companies evolving significantly, the Letter of Intent is aimed at aligning the evolved interests of the two partners to develop a balanced commercial relationship and capture opportunities offered by the advent of digital technologies and interactive services.

The companies anticipate becoming official partners, following approvals of both boards, sometime before the end of June.

Pending arbitration proceedings between the two companies have been stayed pending execution of a Strategic Partnership Agreement.