Syniverse to Buy VeriSign's Mobile Messaging Unit

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Mobile infrastructure vendor Syniverse has agreed to acquire the mobile messaging business of VeriSign for about US$175 million.

The acquisition will include VeriSign products that help mobile operators deliver SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) messages, provide picture messaging applications and deliver third-party content, as well as tools for enterprises to automatically send messages to employees, customers and partners. Syniverse, based in Tampa, Florida, hopes to complete the deal by the end of this year.

VeriSign started out as an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certification authority and branched out into managing Internet DNS (Domain Name System) infrastructure by buying Network Solutions in 2000. In the middle of this decade it began to acquire mobile operator infrastructure companies in hopes of cashing in on the growth of mobile services. But by late 2007, the company said it would divest its noncore businesses, including the mobile messaging products.

Syniverse plans to bring on most of the 300 employees from the VeriSign unit, most of them in the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific region, including more than 100 in India, the company said. There is some overlap between Syniverse and VeriSign's inter-carrier message gateway businesses, but VeriSign's PictureMail, Premium Messaging Gateway and Mobile Enterprise Solutions product lines will bring Syniverse into new markets, said Syniverse spokeswoman Diane Rose.

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