After years of trying to make standalone, outsourced VoIP into a viable business, Deltathree (OTCBB:DDDC, news, filings) has finally tossed the towel into the ring. In a transaction announced today, the company will sell common shares giving 54% interest plus a pile of warrants to a buyer for a mere $1.17M. The buyer is an investment fund called D4 Holdings, which is controlled by the owners of multi-level marketing (MLM) company ACN, Inc. Precisely what the relationship between ACN and D4 is, I'm not sure, but for now I just think of the buyer as ACN. ACN itself has a colorful history like many MLMs, having been sued (unsuccessfully) in Australia for allegedly running a pyramid scheme a few years ago. Let's just say it isn't the sort of company that one sells out to unless it's really, totally, finally over.
The final nail in Deltathree's coffin came last week, when Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings) finally announced the impending death of its VoiceWing product, which Deltathree had long powered. Of course, nobody should have been surprised by VoiceWing's demise, that was written on the wall the day it was announced. It was an also-ran product that filled a marketing void for Verizon but was never really intended to go anywhere else. The idea of making a business out of RBOC-outsourced VoIP services was always a bit whacked because you can't win such an arrangement. If the product doesn't take off, you lose. And if it does take off, the RBOC in-sources it and you still lose.
Hmmm, I wonder what D4/ACN will do with the assets?
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