Snippet: BlueJeans Folds (Or Verizon Lights Money on Fire Again) ☇

Shared on August 9, 2023

Harri Weber for TechCrunch:

Verizon dropped hundreds of millions on BlueJeans at the height of the pandemic lockdowns. Three years and some change later, the lesser-known video-conferencing app is done for, the telecom giant told users today.

In a mass email, Verizon wrote that it “made the difficult decision to sunset our suite of BlueJeans products.” 9to5Google first reported the news. (Verizon is TechCrunch’s former parent company.)

The company bought BlueJeans for $400 million. While that and the almost $10 billion purchases of Yahoo and AOL (including TechCrunch) are not nearly as bad as AT&T’s ill-fated attempt at becoming a media empire with DirecTV and WarnerMedia, it’s yet another instance of a telecom company that should focus on being a dumb pipe and doing that well. It’s not that getting into the videoconferencing business at the start of the pandemic was a bad idea, but the acquisition was after everyone had already settled on Team Zoom, Team WebEx, or Team Teams. Even at that point, I’d guess that few people knew BlueJeans even existed. It makes the recent price hikes and plan changes more frustrating as customers are indirectly financing these distractions.

Update: Shortly after this post, it looks like there’s another price hike for some plans.

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