VeriSign Exits Mobile Content; Sells Remaining Stake In JV To News Corp For $200 Million


VeriSign’s (NSDQ: VRSN) effort to capitalize on mobile content through its acquisition of Jamba is officially over. VeriSign tried to keep skin in the game through a JV with News Corp (NYSE: NWS). selling 51 percent in May 2007 for $187.5 million and a merger with Fox Mobile Entertainment. Today, the two companies said VeriSign has sold its remaining 49 percent to News Corp for approximately $200 million, suggesting that the value of the JV, which has struggled with leadership and strategic issues, has been static at best. VeriSign’s sale has been expected for months given the company’s switch to a core focus on internet infrastructure.

Rafat adds: We have been expecting this for a while…with VeriSign wanting to get out and Jamba’s ownership structure, this was the only logical deal at this point. Doesn’t mean News Corp may not turn around and try and sell it at some point, especially since Jamba for all intents and purposes is a European company now, and can be disposed off to a local player there. Jamba has gone through a meteoric rise an fall over the last few years, first zooming into prominence around the Crazy Frog ringtone, and then becoming mired in billing controversies and regulatory issues in multiple countries including its biggest Euro market UK. With the bottom falling out of the ringtone market, so did its fortunes since then. Full detail at

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