Verisign's out of the mobile biz. The telecom giant reportedly shopped its mobile division to at least one company.
Verisign dumped $273 million on Jamba (a.k.a. Jamster, the guys who filled the UK with the annoying Crazy Frog ringtone). They also snapped up mobile messaging service Lightsurf. But after jumping the gun on this "mobile phones are the new MTV" fad, Verisign has had trouble convincing investors that its acquisitions are worth anything.
But those investors were right — last year, Jamba's growth nearly evaporated. Now the mobile market is in freefall as teens get so over ringtones and Tetris clones. Verisign wants to get out the door before anyone even knows they were leaving. No one's told the press yet. Even the Red Herring didn't catch on before publishing "VeriSign's Big Dreams" this month.
Can't be a good sign for other mobile content providers, and a sale like this could spark an industry-wide sell-off. Thank God! No more viral ringtones!