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VeriSign Hooks .tv, H.O Systems

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Posted January 7, 2002 By Thor Olavsrud     Feedback

The company picks up the rights to manage the .tv extension and rounds out its services offering for wireless carriers.

Internet infrastructure juggernaut VeriSign Inc. hit the post-holiday season ground running Monday with two acquisitions: a $45 million coup for its registry business and a $340 million cash and stock deal to round out its services offering for wireless carriers.

Right out of the blocks Monday, VeriSign trumpeted the acquisition of .tv Corp. International, which scores it the long-term rights to manage the .tv domain name registry.

VeriSign, whose Global Registry Services Division already holds the rights to the .com, .net and .org registries, paid $45 million to acquire .tv Corporation International, which has been the country manager/delegee of the government of Tuvalu -- owner of the .tv extension -- since 1998.

"It's exciting for Tuvalu to have a respected company and corporate citizen such as VeriSign step into the role of managing .tv," said Koloa Talake, prime minister of the tiny Pacific island nation.

The company already had an existing relationship with .tv Corp. to provide registry services and infrastructure support for .tv extensions. VeriSign said .tv Corp., operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of VeriSign, will continue to fulfill that role.

VeriSign closed the acquisition of Dec. 31, and said it will account for it as a purchase transaction.

In related news, VeriSign Monday also unveiled a definitive agreement to acquire H.O. Systems Inc. for $340 million in cash and stock. H.O. Systems is a provider of billing and customer care solutions to wireless carriers, and VeriSign plans to use the acquisition to expand its Illuminet portfolio of telecommunications services with end-to-end billing and CRM applications for wireless carriers.

"As demand for wireless communications grows, so does the need for services that combine the wireless voice and data and billing functions," said Terry Kremian, executive vice president and general manager of Illuminet. "The combination of Illuminet's services and trusted expertise with H.O Systems' wireless billing and real-time provisioning systems creates a powerful offering for wireless carriers."

VeriSign plans to complete the acquisition by the end of the first quarter and said it will account for it as a purchase transaction.

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