Sony Corp. of America announced this week that it plans to acquire Gracenote, an InfoCommerce Group Models of Excellence winner, for a price of $260 million. Sony plans to operate Gracenote as a separate business unit; and Gracenote's senior management team will remain in place.

Gracenote is a provider of embedded technology, enriched content, and data services for digital entertainment solutions in the Internet, consumer electronics, mobile and automotive markets. According to a press release announcing the deal, Sony plans to use the acquisition to further develop its digital content, service and device initiatives.

Sony was already a customer of Gracenote. Other Gracenote customers include Apple iTunes, Yahoo! Music Jukebox, Panasonic, Philips and Samsung. So Gracenote already had a strong presence in its space.

Yet, with the backing of a prominent company like Sony, Gracenote is positioned to grow even more rapidly than it would have on its own. Essentially, this deal signifies how valuable Gracenote's offerings are and will continue to be in the electronics marketplace.