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Summary:

BitTorrent will lay off its sales and marketing department, a total of 12 employees, Valleywag reported this morning, based on a tip from an alleged company insider. The company has also supposedly failed to complete a deal to sell its neglected consumer-facing site to Best Buy […]

BitTorrent will lay off its sales and marketing department, a total of 12 employees, Valleywag reported this morning, based on a tip from an alleged company insider. The company has also supposedly failed to complete a deal to sell its neglected consumer-facing site to Best Buy for $15 million, and is considering making its network accelerator service free. We’ve been searching around for more information, and will update when we have anything. The normally very responsive BitTorrent PR isn’t returning emails or calls at the moment.

BitTorrent for a while was insisting that it would maintain both its consumer and enterprise businesses, but softened its language somewhat when it brought in a new CEO from the enterprise world this spring. The company also kept assuring us that it didn’t need additional funding. So is Valleywag’s report true? It seems logical to us that layoffs would accompany a change in direction, but the new CEO came in months ago. Like I said, we’ll let you know if we hear more. Or let us know if you do.


Update, Thursday 3 p.m. PST
: BitTorrent confirms layoffs, but not everything else.

Meanwhile, some are characterizing Rocketboom‘s new, exclusive syndication deal with Sony as an acquisition. Specifically, “Sony Pictures TV Acquires Rocketboom.com” was the Mediaweek headline. To make sure we weren’t taking crazy pills, we checked with Rocketboom‘s Andrew Baron, who replied via email, “rocketboom WAS NOT BOUGHT!” He added, “The deal was for distribution and advertising and has a limited term.”

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  1. I think some of the confusion out there stems from folks not distinguishing between BitTorrent the protocol and BitTorrent the business/company. Doubt anyone would notice if the company faded away…

  2. One Day Later: BitTorrent Confirms Layoffs « NewTeeVee Thursday, August 7, 2008

    [...] Day Later: BitTorrent Confirms Layoffs BitTorrent today confirmed a report that it laid off part of its staff, though it disputed the number of people let go and the nature of the layoffs. The news had come to [...]

  3. Open Thread: How to Fix BitTorrent, the Startup? – GigaOM Thursday, August 7, 2008

    [...] far it’s all hearsay, but NewTeeVee’s Liz Gannes is trying to get to the facts of the story. If true, then it would be yet another tumultuous twist [...]

  4. BitTorrent Funding Reduced to Bits? « NewTeeVee Sunday, December 14, 2008

    [...] eating all year, but it’s been particularly bad as 2008 closes out. In August, the company laid off 12 people (roughly 20 percent of its staff at the time). Then in November, Ahswin Navin, BitTorrent [...]

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