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VeriSign to Buy Illuminet

Security vendor VeriSign Inc. said Monday that it will buy carrier networking infrastructure provider Illuminet Holdings Inc. in a $1.2-billion stock swap.

The companies position the acquisition as a marriage between high-volume infrastructure providers to build new infrastructural services.

"This new integrated data-voice infrastructure will serve as the foundation for new types of services for the highly anticipated next-generation networks," said Stratton Sclavos, president and CEO of VeriSign, in a statement.

VeriSign sells digital trust services including Web identity, authentication and payment services. VeriSign says each day its infrastructure handles 5 billion DNS look-ups, 100 million database queries and millions of secure commerce and communications transactions.

Illuminet, which had about $47 million in revenues in the second quarter of 2001, has about 900 customers, including long-distance, local and wireless carriers. The company's network services direct and route calls to allow carriers to connect to each other.

VeriSign plans to use its existing global infrastructure to introduce new services to Illuminet's customers, including secure short messaging, local number portability and Voice Over IP bridging. Illuminet's technology should allow VeriSign to offer existing VeriSign customers services such as WebNum for linking phone numbers to URLs to create a single point of contact for businesses and a Global Voice Registry to allow callers to reach a business by speaking the company's name.

The acquisition is expected to be complete late in the fourth quarter of 2001 or early in 2002.

About the Author

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

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