Symantec buying VeriSign's Web-security arm

May 19, 2010 By JORDAN ROBERTSON , AP Technology Writer
In this file photo taken July 20, 2005, an exterior view of VeriSign Inc. offices in Mountain View, Calif., is seen. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

(AP) -- Symantec Corp. is paying $1.28 billion in cash to buy a division of VeriSign Inc. that sells security technology to websites.

The deal, announced Wednesday after the market closed, represents VeriSign's most aggressive move yet to slim down and concentrate on its core business: managing traffic to websites with addresses ending in ".com" and ".net," and collecting fees for registering those names.

VeriSign has been purging divisions for the past three years in an acknowledgment that it was spread too thin by a buying binge designed to insulate it from the kinds of problems it had after the dot-com collapse a decade ago.

Prior to Wednesday's deal with , which is expected to close later this year, VeriSign had sold more than a dozen businesses since 2007 for a total of nearly $1 billion.

What Symantec gets out of the deal is one of the Web's best known brand names for security.

VeriSign's logo - a check mark and the tag "VeriSign Secured" - is ubiquitous on websites that have bought its security technology. The VeriSign division that Symantec is buying sells "certificates" to websites that want protection for their customers' data. The Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, certificates allow data to be encrypted between a user's browser and a website's servers. A padlock icon appears on a user's browser when that technology is being used.

The certificate business has long been a cornerstone for VeriSign, but has come under pressure in recent years. In part, that's because cheap SSL certificates sold by other companies are easy to come by. Still, at the end of last year, more than 1 million sites were using VeriSign's SSL certificates.

While VeriSign has been contracting, Symantec has been expanding beyond its core business as a maker of antivirus software for personal computers.

Symantec and VeriSign shares were unchanged in after-hours trading. Symantec shares had fallen 32 cents, or 2 percent, to close the regular trading session at $15.63. shares had fallen 24 cents, less than 1 percent, to $27.99. Reports of the acquisition talks leaked Tuesday.

Explore further: China's Xiaomi raises more than $1 bn in funding

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Dotcom celebrates 25th birthday

Mar 16, 2010

Recognize Symbolics.com? Probably not. But 25 years ago this week the Massachusetts computer maker played a bit role in history -- it was the first company to register a .com address on what would eventually ...

Recommended for you

It's down to the wire for online shopping

51 minutes ago

As the holiday shopping season winds down, FedEx, UPS and online retailers are using the last few days to try to avoid the problems that occurred last year when severe winter weather and a surge in late orders ...

China's Xiaomi raises more than $1 bn in funding

Dec 21, 2014

China's top smartphone seller Xiaomi Corp. is raising more than $1 billion in a fresh round of funding, a move which would raise its valuation above $45 billion, a report said Sunday.

Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan

Dec 20, 2014

Japan's biggest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, featured a story about Sony Corp. on its website Friday. It wasn't about hacking. It was about the company's struggling tablet business.

Sony faces 4th ex-employee lawsuit over hack

Dec 20, 2014

A former director of technology for Sony Pictures Entertainment has sued the company over the data breach that resulted in the online posting of his private financial and personal information.

Sony tells AFP it still plans movie release

Dec 20, 2014

Sony Pictures boss Michael Lynton denied Friday the Hollywood studio has "caved" by canceling the release of "The Interview," and said it still hoped to release the controversial film.

2012 movie massacre hung over 'Interview' decision

Dec 19, 2014

When a group claiming credit for the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment threated violence against theaters showing "The Interview" earlier this week, the fate of the movie's big-screen life was all but ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.