Verizon to Acquire Video Conferencing Firm BlueJeans

Associated Press

"Collaboration and communications have become top of the agenda for businesses of all sizes and in all sectors in recent months" amid the coronavirus pandemic, says Verizon about the Zoom rival.

Wireless giant Verizon said Thursday that its Verizon Business unit has reached a definitive agreement to acquire video conferencing platform BlueJeans Network, which has seen increased usage amid the new coronavirus pandemic, just like rival Zoom.

Financial terms weren't disclosed, but The Wall Street Journal reported the price tag was less than $500 million. 

The Walt Disney Co. has been reported to be among the companies that has been using the firm's video conferencing services. 

"From our early days as a Silicon Valley startup, we’ve come a long way: now over 13,000 organizations around the world use BlueJeans to connect in millions of meetings every month," BlueJeans co-founder Alagu Periyannan wrote in a March 3 blog post. "In a moment like we’re experiencing today with the coronavirus outbreak, the trust that our customers put in BlueJeans motivates us to leave no stone unturned as we help each other get through this crisis. ... Early signs are increases in video conferencing traffic on our network from January to February of four times in China and three times across Asia Pacific. Over the past few weeks we have also started to see faster video conferencing traffic growth outside of Asia, particularly in countries experiencing significant COVID-19 outbreaks, including Italy."

"BlueJeans’ cloud-based video service currently serves a wide variety of business segments from small organizations to some of the world’s largest multinational brands, and has played a significant part in continuing those companies’ operations during the ongoing work-from-home surge," Verizon said. "The transaction will combine BlueJeans’ simple, smart and trusted meeting platform with Verizon’s unified communications as a service business immediately. Customers will benefit from a BlueJeans enterprise-grade video experience on Verizon’s high-performance global networks."

"As the way we work continues to change, it is absolutely critical for businesses and public sector customers to have access to a comprehensive suite of offerings that are enterprise ready, secure, frictionless and that integrate with existing tools,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business. "Collaboration and communications have become top of the agenda for businesses of all sizes and in all sectors in recent months."

BlueJeans' founders and key management team will join Verizon "to lead the continued growth and innovation of the business," the companies said.

“The combination of BlueJeans’ world-class enterprise video collaboration platform and trusted brand with Verizon Business’ next-generation edge computing innovation will deliver highly differentiated and compelling solutions to our joint customers,” said Quentin Gallivan, CEO of BlueJeans.

Verizon said that the transaction, subject to "customary closing conditions," is expected to close in the second quarter.