Verizon introduced on Thursday that it has entered into an settlement to amass videoconferencing and occasion platform BlueJeans Network. The firms didn’t announce the phrases of the deal in a press launch, however The Wall Street Journal reviews that Verizon pays lower than $500 million for the corporate, which has some 15,000 enterprise shoppers.
The transfer comes as rival videoconferencing app Zoom has soared in recognition as extra folks earn a living from home. But Zoom has been confronted with continued safety points, together with widespread cases of “Zoombombing,” the place uninvited friends crash a Zoom assembly. It up to date its iOS app late final month to take away code that despatched gadget knowledge to Facebook. Zoom additionally needed to rewrite components of its privateness coverage after it was found that customers’ private info could possibly be used to focus on advertisements.
Unlike Zoom and Microsoft’s Skype video calling service, BlueJeans doesn’t have a free model and is primarily geared toward enterprise customers, the Journal notes.
“BlueJeans will be deeply integrated into Verizon’s 5G product roadmap, providing secure and real-time engagement solutions for high growth areas such as telemedicine, distance learning and field service work,” Verizon mentioned in an announcement asserting the deal.
Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg mentioned on CNBC on Thursday that Verizon has been wanting BlueJeans for a couple of yr, and he thinks his firm’s distribution will permit BluJeans to higher compete with Zoom and others. Vestberg reiterated that BlueJeans might be constructed into Verizon’s 5G community. “Ultimately videoconferencing and video will be enormously important in 5G,” he mentioned.
But not like Zoom, Verizon can also be a nationwide web service supplier. Its buy of BlueJeans opens the door to potential internet neutrality considerations of Verizon prioritizing its personal videoconferencing software program for Fios clients over rivals like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
BlueJeans was based in 2009. In December 2019, CEO Quentin Gallivan wrote in a weblog submit that the corporate “will become profitable and operating cash flow positive over the next few months.” Like Zoom, BlueJeans has seen its utilization enhance sharply over the previous month. BlueJeans’ founders and its administration crew will be part of Verizon as soon as the deal closes, which is predicted to occur within the second quarter of this yr.