US government is examining Zoom's plans for billions in purchases

Released on 22.09. 300

  • A display indicates the IPO of Zoom Video Communications, prior to the IPO on the Nasdaq in New York. Photo: Mark Lennihan

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The video conferencing service Zoom wants to strengthen its position with a billion deal after the explosive growth in the pandemic. But US authorities are checking the planned purchase.

San Jose (dpa) – Zoom’s plans to establish itself in the call center business with a billion-dollar takeover are under intense scrutiny by the US government.

A special committee headed by the Department of Justice is investigating whether the deal poses risks to the national security of the USA, according to documents on the website of the telecom regulator FCC.

) Zoom wants to buy the US company Five9, a specialist in call centers operated in the cloud. This could enable the company to expand its business beyond video conferencing. Zoom wants to use its shares, which have risen in the pandemic, as currency to raise the purchase price of 14, 7 billion dollars (12, 5 billion euros).

Relationship to Russia

The government did not mention in the published documents what exactly it suspected dangers. Zoom himself had pointed out in the last quarterly report that Five9 had developers and business in Russia and that the deal could therefore be exposed to political risks. Meanwhile, the “Wall Street Journal” wrote on Tuesday that the investigation was triggered by connections from Zoom to China. Zoom, a US company based in San Jose, California, has development activities in China.

A Zoom spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal that they had all the necessary documents relevant authorities and the process is developing as expected. Zoom also assumes that the takeover can be completed in the first half of the year 2021.

New league thanks to Corona

Zoom was promoted to a new league with the Corona crisis. The company was originally supposed to provide video conferencing for companies. In the pandemic, however, it was not just use in companies that increased: Private individuals also use Zoom for all sorts of occasions – from family reunions to yoga classes.

After leaps in sales of more than 300 percent last year, growth has normalized. Zoom therefore tries to use the tailwind to expand its business. Among other things, the plan is to take over the provision of telephony in companies in addition to video conferences.

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