France Telecom subsidiary Viaccess is to acquire IPTV middleware provider Orca Interactive for $21 million. Orca Interactive developed the RiGHTv platform for interactive television services delivered over internet protocol networks.

Viaccess provides content protection through conditional access and digital rights management. It says the acquisition will improve the respective market positions of the companies and enhance their ability to deliver integrated solutions.

“Viaccess’s investment in Orca proves that we are standing at the brink of a new era, firmly cementing IPTV’s role in the consolidation of telecommunications services,” said Haggai Barel, the chief executive of Orca Interactive. “As a true industry pioneer, Orca Interactive has continuously led the IPTV revolution with cutting-edge technology and a flexible middleware platform designed to make next-generation TV services a reality.”

Orca Interactive has developed a middleware platform for interactive television services, including video on demand and personal video recording. Although adopted by some smaller operators, it has no doubt found it to difficult compete with the offerings of larger companies like Microsoft and Siemens.

Part of the Emblaze Group, Orca Interactive is based in Israel but listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.