By Elinor Mills
May 19, 2010
With its acquisition of VeriSign's authentication business, Symantec is
making a big play for a piece of the market for services that validate
the identity of users and content on the Web.
The $1.28 billion cash deal--the third encryption-related purchase for
Symantec in three weeks--would seem to be a natural extension of its
desktop and server security offerings, several analysts said. But other
observers question how well suited one of the leading antivirus
providers really is to become the identity broker for the Internet.
"Where's the synergy?" wondered Avivah Litan, an analyst at Gartner, in
an interview late Wednesday. "Certainly everyone wants to own identity
(management), Facebook, Google, PayPal, and they have a much better shot
at it because they own more content and more users...Symantec (now) has
the technology infrastructure, but it's not a technology problem, it's a
Symantec Chief Executive Enrique Salem didn't have to look far to expand
his Mountain View, Calif.-based kingdom. "When I look over my shoulder I
see the VeriSign campus," also in Mountain View, he said during a
conference call on Wednesday.
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