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Politics Justice Department investigating Zoom's China ties over Five9 deal

01:45  22 september  2021
01:45  22 september  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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Zoom announced the deal with Five 9 in July, marking the video-chat company' s first billion-dollar-plus acquisition. Zoom ballooned in value during the pandemic and, with Five 9 ' s technology, is trying to expand into adjacent markets. Zoom sill expects the acquisition to close in the first half of 2022, a company spokesperson told CNBC in an email. "We have made filings with the various applicable regulatory agencies, and these approval processes are proceeding as expected," the representative said. A Five 9 spokesperson declined to comment.

The Justice Department should investigate whether the popular video apps TikTok and Zoom Two Senators Urge Justice Department to Probe TikTok and Zoom . By. Request signals growing bipartisan concern over China ties . Hawley, Blumenthal seek briefing from agencies on security.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has opened an investigation into Zoom's $15 billion deal to buy Five9 over of the videoconferencing giant's connections to China.

a screen shot of a computer: Justice Department investigating Zoom's China ties over Five9 deal © Edward Smith/Getty Images Justice Department investigating Zoom's China ties over Five9 deal

The DOJ requested the FCC defer action on Zoom's application to acquire Five9 until Team Telecom, an interagency committee responsible for ensuring U.S. telecommunications security, completes a review, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Five9 is authorized as a carrier connecting domestic and overseas networks, which drew the Team Telecom scrutiny.

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The Justice Department is also investigating , as it regulates agents of foreign governments or foreign groups engaging in political activity seeking to influence US policy or public opinion. Such entities are required to register with the department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act or FARA. Reuters found James Su or G&E Studio are not registered as foreign agents.

For Five 9 's part, connecting with Zoom offered the opportunity to give Five 9 's customers more complete access to the features that Zoom ' s video collaboration platform offered. In particular, the Zoom Phone product could grow into a superior service that Five 9 's clients would be interested in pursuing. Five 9 has significant institutional ownership, and many institutions choose almost always to side with management in agreeing to deals . Nevertheless, some institutional investors rely heavily on services like ISS, and if similar proxy advisory companies agree with ISS, it could jeopardize the deal

The Justice Department cited "the foreign relationships and ownership" as a potential national security risk in letter regarding the partnership with Five 9, an American customer-service company.


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As a result, Zoom's $15 billion deal remains on hold.

"The Five9 acquisition is subject to certain telecom regulatory approvals," a Zoom spokesperson told The Hill in an emailed statement on Tuesday. "We have made filings with the various applicable regulatory agencies, and these approval processes are proceeding as expected."

"We continue to anticipate receiving the required regulatory approvals to close the transaction in the first half of 2022," the spokesperson added.

Zoom's value soared as the U.S. workforce went remote during the pandemic, but its shares have fallen 20% in recent months. The company has responded to previous questions about its ties to China by pointing out that it is based in Silicon Valley and its China-born chief executive, Eric Yuan, is a U.S. citizen, according to the Journal.

Japan's next PM must work quickly on virus, economy, China .
TOKYO (AP) — The stakes are high as Japanese governing party members vote Wednesday for four candidates seeking to replace Yoshihide Suga as prime minister. The next leader must address a pandemic-battered economy, a newly empowered military operating in a dangerous neighborhood, crucial ties with an inward-focused ally, Washington, and tense security standoffs with an emboldened China and its ally North Korea. For the long-governing Liberal Democratic Party that often chooses its leaders in backroom negotiations, this election promises to be wide open. Because of the party's control of parliament, its leader will become prime minister.

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