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Logitech picks up Slim Devices for $20m

Squeezebox acquired by mouse maker

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Slim Devices, maker of the Squeezebox networked digital music player, has been plugged into mouse manufacturer Logitech, the two firms announced last night. Logitech will pay $20m in cash for the firm - maybe more if the new subsidiary hits undisclosed future revenue targets.

Slim Devices portrayed the acquisition as a beneficial one. Certainly, the deal brings the company and its products access to a wider, more retail-friendly and consumer-savvy marketing and distribution operation. Logitech's manufacturing and supply chain skills will come in handy too.

But some of the other gains it mentioned - Logitech's "expertise in interface-product design and amplified-audio systems" - are actually skills Slim Devices has already demonstrated it possesses. The real benefit is financial, for the closely held firm's founders and other shareholders.

Logitech is itself no stranger to wireless music systems, but its efforts have largely been pitched as add-ons to other devices - PCs, iPods - than as must-have gadgets in their own right.

Slim Devices will at least retain its identity and culture, operating as a "distinct group" within Logitech's entertainment and communications products division. That should help assuage fears on the part of the company's many open source software contributors that their collaborative efforts will not be exploited. ®

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