Yuen confident of TV Guide deal

Gemstar International Group Chairman Henry Yuen reiterated last week that he expects his planned takeover of TV Guide to survive antitrust scrutiny and close.

The $9.2 billion takeover will consolidate key electronic-program guide businesses and technology under one roof, a prospect that has unnerved some cable executives who worry about being dependent on a single provider of on-screen and interactive guide information. The stocks of Gemstar and TV Guide have plunged 70% since March, dragged down by the Nasdaq undertow gripping all technology-related shares.

The deal was announced in October, and officials at both companies had expected to have it closed by now. But the U.S. Department of Justice has prolonged its antitrust review.

"We believe the document submission phase is complete," Yuen said. "We cannot predict the outcome, nor are we in total control of the timing. We remain confident that the transaction will be completed."

The transaction is intended to transform Gemstar from a relatively passive technology company that licenses various TV patents and products into an operating company driven by advertising.