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Talk of Apple play fast-forwards TiVo

Stocks jump 18% after talks of acquistion

TiVo stock got a big boost Wednesday as takeover rumors focused on surprise suitor Apple sent its shares soaring 18%.

Rumors of a pending acquisition have circulated among TiVo watchers for months, with potential buyers ranging from equipment makers like Motorola to cable or satellite companies looking to integrate its technology and acquire its subscribers.

Reports of potential interest from Apple surprised many, though, and were firm enough to give a big jump to TiVo’s stock, which got a bump last Friday on better-than-expected sub figures from the holidays but is still down 37% for the year.

Analysts said Apple may be a good fit, though, as both companies appeal to a young, tech-savvy audience, and TiVo could undoubtedly benefit from the iPod maker’s marketing skills.

Digital video recording pioneer has faced a variety of challenges as satcasters and cable companies like Comcast and DirecTV have offered their own generic versions of the technology with no hardware cost and a lower monthly fee.

TiVo shares closed at $4.38 Wednesday, up over 18%.

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