Cisco announced today that they have acquired set-top box maker Scientific Atlanta for $6.9 billion. Scientific Atlanta‘s customer list reads like a who’s who of the cable industry — Time Warner, Comcast, Cox, Adelphia, Rogers, Videotron. According to Om Malik, the acquisition brings them End-to-End Subscriber Systems, DVR & Non-DVR Set tops, HD & standard definition Set tops, System & Client Software, Cable HSD/Voice Modems, Home Networks, HFC Networks, Satellite Systems, Head-ends, and Network Management.
According to News.com, Cisco CEO John Chambers ranks this acquisition in the top four that the company has ever done, and says the company plans to take the Scientific-Atlanta products and integrate them with Cisco’s routers and switches and home networking equipment to create an end-to-end business.
James Enck asks how long until we see a set-top box with SIP and WiFi built in? Om Malik says "Cisco had data, Cisco had voice, and what it needed was video to complete the triple play."
This has just a created a headache for Motorola, but it’s going to cause Microsoft, and TiVo a world of hurt. The end-to-end play is powerful, and neither of these companies have any head-end assets.