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Video conferencing provider Zoom: US government examines security risk from planned billion


The video conference provider Zoom wants to take over a call center specialist - but the company has been criticized for its connections to Russia or China. Now the US Department of Justice is reacting.

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Photo: Andre M. Chang / dpa

Zoom is one of the winners in the corona pandemic.

The home office regulations have brought huge growth to the video conferencing service.

Now Zoom wants to establish itself in the call center business with a takeover of the US company Five9.

But these plans are now under intensive scrutiny by the US government.

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

The government did not specify in the published documents what exactly it suspected dangers.

Zoom himself had pointed out in the latest 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.

The US company is based in San José, California, but has development activities in China.

Five9 is a specialist in call centers operated in the cloud.

With the acquisition, Zoom could expand its business beyond video conferencing.

The purchase price is estimated at $ 14.7 billion.

Zoom plans to use its stocks, which have soared in the pandemic, as currency to help push the deal.

A Zoom spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal that all necessary documents had been submitted to the relevant authorities and that the process was developing as expected.

Zoom also assumes that the takeover can be completed in the first half of 2022.

Zoom originally focused on corporate video conferencing.

In the pandemic, however, private individuals also use Zoom for all sorts of opportunities - from family reunions to yoga classes.

After leaps in sales of more than 300 percent last year, growth has normalized.

So Zoom tries to use the hype to expand its business.

The plan is, among other things, to take over the provision of telephony in companies in addition to video conferences.

mmq / dpa

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-09-22

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