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VeriSign Buys Network Solutions

VeriSign Inc., a provider of Internet trust services, has acquired Network Solutions Inc., the registrar of domain names, in a stock transaction valued at $21 billion.

Under the agreement, VeriSign (www.verisign.com) will issue 2.15 shares of VeriSign common stock for each share of Network Solutions (www.networksolutions.com) stock as constituted prior to the 2-for-1 split of Network Solutions stock to be completed on March 10. The transaction has been approved by both companies' boards of directors and is subject to approval by VeriSign and Network Associates shareholders. The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter. After the acquisition, Network Associates will become a subsidiary of VeriSign, with Network Associates' CEO remaining in place.

The resulting company plans to deliver a wider range of services covering the e-commerce life cycle. These will include assisting businesses and consumers in establishing an online presence -- an area in which the two companies strengths complement each other; basic e-commerce -- including digital certificate-based authentication for secure Web transactions; customer/supply-chain management -- including secure extranet services, virtual private networks (VPNs), and secure messaging; and global trading.

Network Solutions is the leading registrar and exclusive registry of Internet domain names in the .com, .net, and .org top-level domains. VeriSign provides Internet trust services, including authentication, payment, and validation services for e-commerce, transactions, and communications on the Internet. -- Isaac Slepner

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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