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Tulip offloads Commodore brand

€24m sale to US media company

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PC maker Tulip is to sell the Commodore brandname to US company Yeahronimo Media Ventures for €24m ($33m), the Dutch company revealed this week.

Ironically, Tulip has only just begun shipping its most recent Commodore product, the C64 Direct-to-TV. The unit is one of those compact, joystick-styled devices that comprises a CBM64 emulator and a rack of games.

When the unit was announced, in May 2004, Tulip promised the C64 Direct-to-TV would be be "the first of a whole series of entertainment products... using the Commodore name and label". Maybe it still will, but not will Tulip's input.

Tulip bought Commodore in September 1997, primarily to acquire a well-known consumer computer brandname for its own push into the games marketplace. Soon after it sold the Amiga name and platform to Gateway. Tulip went on to release a series of Wintel PCs under the Commodore label, but the line never really achieved the levels of success of the machines that made Commodore's name in the first place.

Tulip most recently tried to cash in on the 6m loyal Commodore users and enthusiasts around the world with an official Commodore 64 web-portal. In the past there were roughly 300 commercial websites that used the name Commodore or Commodore 64 without a licence.

As soon as Tulip began to realise that running a website could hardly be considered a core business, the company decided to sell. However, Yeahronimo doesn't have to cough up the €24m straight away. According to the Letter of Intent, the company will pay Tulip in installments until the year 2010. ®

Tony Smith contributed to this report.

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