VeriSign Sells Network Solutions Business

VeriSign on Thursday sold its Network Solutions business unit, however it retains the .com and .net registry.

VeriSign Inc. on Thursday divested itself of its Network Solutions business unit. However, the company will retain the Internet registry service for the .com and .net domain names.

The Mountain View, Calif., companys Network Solutions businesses, which VeriSign acquired in 2000, fell into two categories: providing the Internet name registry for .com and .net domains; and selling registrations and other services, such as site hosting and business e-mail accounts. It is this latter business that VeriSign today sold to Phoenix-based Pivotal Private Equity for about $100 million.

VeriSigns registry business remains with the company and is renamed Naming and Directory Services, a part of VeriSigns Internet Services Group. In a statement, Stratton Sclavos, chairman and CEO of VeriSign, said: "We believe that this transaction will strategically position VeriSign to focus exclusively on our core mission of providing critical infrastructure services for the Internet and telecommunication networks, while allowing Network Solutions to pursue its own independent strategy in the web presence market."

VeriSign said its infrastructure services will continue to be organized around two core areas: the Internet Services Group, which comprises the Naming and Directory Services and Security Intelligence and Control Services; and the Telecommunications Services Group, which offers managed communication services for wired, wireless and "next-generation carriers."

VeriSigns Internet Services Group has been in the news recently over its SiteFinder redirection service. The company this month put the project on the shelf, at least for the moment following three class-action lawsuits and actions by various Internet standards bodies. In one example, the Security and Stability Advisory Committee of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently issued an advisory blaming the SiteFinder service for weakening the Internets stability.

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