Verizon to Buy Videoconferencing Company BlueJeans

Verizon agrees to buy BlueJeans, a videoconferencing provider, for less than $500 million.
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Verizon Communications  (VZ) - Get Report said Thursday it had agreed to buy cloud-based videoconferencing company BlueJeans for less than $500 million.

Shares of the New York telecom giant at last check were up 0.42% to $57.17. 

"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,” Tami Erwin, chief executive of Verizon Business, said in a statement.

Verizon said in a statement that the San Jose cloud-based video service "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."

The economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic has dramatically increased the demand for videoconferencing services. The list of companies includes Zoom Video Communications  (ZM) - Get Report, Cisco's  (CSCO) - Get Report Webex, Microsoft's  (MSFT) - Get Report Teams and Google  (GOOGL) - Get Report Meet.

The consulting firm App Annie said in a report last month that business apps topped 62 million downloads across Apple's  (AAPL) - Get Report iOS and Google Play during the week of March 14-21, its biggest week ever and up 45% from the week prior. 

The surge was driven by conferencing apps, the company said, with Zoom Cloud Meetings topping downloads charts globally throughout February and March. 

During the week of March 15-21, Zoom Cloud Meetings was downloaded 14 times more than the weekly average during fourth-quarter 2019 in the U.S.

Zoom Video has sparked concern about privacy and so-called Zoombombing, a form of trolling where a participant uses Zoom's screen-sharing feature to interrupt and disrupt meetings or classes.

Zoom Video shares fell 0.05% to $151.49.

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