Technology

News Corp, VeriSign close Jamba deal













MUMBAI: News Corporation and VeriSign have announced that a joint venture giving News Corp controlling interest in VeriSign?s wholly owned Jamba subsidiary will finalise tomorrow, 31 January.


The joint venture combines mobile ringtone and animation provider Jamba and Fox Mobile Entertainment assets to form a leading global provider of mobile entertainment. Lucy Hood, who was formerly president of Fox Mobile Entertainment, will become the company?s CEO effective immediately upon the close of the deal.


It was in September that News Corp announced it would pay $188 million for a 51 per cent stake in VeriSign?s wholly-owned Jamba subsidiary and will combine it with Fox Mobile Entertainment assets. VeriSign, which bought Jamba for $ 270 million in 2004, operates intelligent infrastructure services that enable and protect interactions across voice and data networks anytime, from anywhere on multiple devices.

 

The new company will serve 30 territories with a potential reach of more than a billion mobile subscribers. The new company intends to retain the Jamster brand in the US and the Jamba brand worldwide.


Jamba was founded in 2000 and is considered a global leader in off-deck delivery of mobile entertainment.

 

News Corp?s Fox Mobile Entertainment group got its start with American Idol text voting, which generated nearly 65 million text messages last season, up from 12,000 messages in the first season in 2001.


Following the close of the transaction, Jamba will release its first products and offerings as a new entity, including:


MySpace Mobile Store - In an alliance with News Corp?s wildly popular social networking site MySpace, Jamba will be MySpace‘s global m-commerce partner.


Also in the pipeline is The Simpsons Mobile - Jamba will exclusively offer mobile content from the series The Simpsons through a subscription package tied to exclusive content called the Yellow Plan.

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