VeriSign, NSI deal will form "trust utility"

Internet security provider VeriSign Inc. announced Tuesday it would acquire

Network Solutions Inc. for $21 billion in an effort to expand its e-commerce

capabilities.

The companies have worked together for several years, and company representatives

said the joining of the two companies was "a natural evolution for our businesses

and for the Internet."

Network Solutions is one of the largest domain name registrars in the country.

It also provides Internet technology services that assist in the management

of Web sites and information technology. VeriSign provides secure electronic

commerce and communications over the Internet.

"With Network Solutions as the gateway to establishing online identity and

Web presence, and VeriSign as the provider of Internet authentication, validation

and payment services, our combined company will serve as the trust utility

that will power the Internet economy," said Stratton Sclavos, president

and chief executive officer of VeriSign.

The merger, expected to be completed later this year, will enable the companies

to provide additional e-commerce services including:

* An online presence through domain name registration, global directory

listings, e-mail and basic Web site creation.

* Digital certificate-based authentication for secure Web site transactions,

e-mail and credit card payments.

* Virtual private networks for secure messaging and real-time validation,

as well as secure extranet services.

* Buyer and supplier credentials for trading, trusted directories, purchase

cards and digital receipts.

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