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LG Buys HP's WebOS for Smart TVs

CE Company to Use Palm-Developed Operating System Across a Range of Devices 2/25/2013 9:52 AM Eastern

LG Electronics has acquired Hewlett-Packard’s webOS operating system -- originally developed by Palm as a rival to Apple's iOS -- which LG plans to use to support its next-generation smart TVs as well as a range of other consumer-electronics devices, the companies announced today.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. HP and LG said they do not expect the transaction to have a material impact on either company's financial statements.

LG said it entered into a definitive agreement with HP to acquire the source code, associated documentation, engineering talent and related websites associated with webOS, according to the companies. In addition, LG will receive licenses under HP's intellectual property for use with its webOS products, including patents acquired from Palm covering fundamental operating system and user interface technologies now in broad use across the industry.

"This groundbreaking development demonstrates LG's commitment to investing in talent and research in Silicon Valley, one of the world's innovation hotbeds," Skott Ahn, LG’s president and chief technology officer, said in a statement. “It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and Internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices.”

With the transaction, LG will add HP’s webOS offices in Sunnyvale, Calif., and San Francisco to its global R&D locations, in addition to its existing U.S. sites in San Jose and Chicago.

Under the agreement, LG will assume stewardship of the open source projects of Open webOS and Enyo. HP will retain ownership of all of Palm's cloud computing assets, including source code, talent, infrastructure and contracts, and also will continue to support Palm users.

HP acquired Palm in 2010 in a deal valued at $1.2 billion. In 2011, HP launched a line of tablets and smartphones based on webOS, but scrapped them less than two months later after poor sales.

 

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April