Animation, software to enhance online functionality

Interactive entertainment creator Brilliant Digital Entertainment is getting into the auction game with the acquisition of London-based satcaster The Auction Channel from Trojan Television for $7.3 million in stock.

Under terms of the deal, Trojan TV will become a subsidiary of Brilliant. The company uses live satellite, cable TV and Web broadcasts of fine arts and antique auction events conducted by Christie’s, Philips, Bonhams, Brooks and other auction houses with which it has deals. Bids are conducted through telephone.

Brilliant will integrate its 3D animated capabilities and e-commerce software with The Auction Channel to enhance the online functions of the Web site.

“We’ve seen a tremendous growth of the market, especially for Auction Channel content, and want to be part of that phenomenon, bringing it online,” said Brilliant prexy Kevin Bermeister.

The Auction Channel’s broadcasts are seen mostly in Europe and Asia through the Sky Network and hopes to expand in the U.S. through the deal. Brilliant plans to begin broadcasting the channel in the U.S. in the fall over cable systems. It has deals with Road Runner and @Home.

The move makes Brilliant a player in a growing online auction arena, already dominated by eBay and Amazon.com.

“Brilliant is a perfect partner for The Auction Channel,” said Jason Gleave, founder and managing director of The Auction Channel. “The company has technology we can use to enhance auction events and access to capital to support the growth of our business.”

Los Angeles-based Brilliant creates a series of multi-path animated movies for its Web site, DVD and CD-ROM.

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