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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    Verisign/NSI Microsoft to Buy VeriSign
    posted by michael on Monday April 01 2002, @03:00AM

    Microsoft announced this morning that it will be acquiring VeriSign, the owners of NSI. VeriSign's stock has been depressed recently, closing at 27 last week, well down from its high of over 200 in September 2000. Even so, some analysts suggest Microsoft is getting no bargain.

    The acquisition is probably driven primarily by Microsoft's desire to own a controlling share of the market for digital signature and certification software, which will probably be bundled into the next release of Microsoft's market-dominant operating system software. Nevertheless, the purchase promises to have a major impact on the DNS. Yes, this changes everything. Updated.

    For starters, Microsoft’s acquisition greatly increases the chances that the .net TLD will become part of Microsoft’s .net initiative, and may indeed give that muddled effort some focus.

    The impact on ICANN should also be nuclear. Microsoft is not going to take any nonsense. It will expect ICANN to do what it's told, or it will use its substantial influence with the Bush administration to make ICANN behave.

    More generally, however, there is real cause to worry. Microsoft’s well-known "embrace, extend, exterminate" approach to standards suggests that proprietary DNS systems, and perhaps proprietary TLDs, cannot be far away. This is not good.

    And, if I were new.net, I’d be torn between quaking in my boots, and praying I was the next acquisition target.

    It's highly unlikely that the US Justice Dept., which has just taken over authority to monitor mergers from the FTC, will have anything to say about this. But might the EU competition authorities have an interest in merging their onoging investigations of Microsoft and VeriSign?

    This is one where we should have a much clearer picture of the issues in a day or so. Stay tuned.

    [Update: Yes, "we should have a much clearer picture of the issues in a day or so": it's our April Fools joke. Thanks to all the stock brokers who e-mailed asking about the broken URL...and congrats to the alert posters who caught on to us so quickly!]

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  • Microsoft’s .net initiative
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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Microsoft to Buy VeriSign | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 6 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Microsoft to Buy VeriSign
    by mustbeajoke on Monday April 01 2002, @03:49AM (#5655)
    User #3295 Info
    April fools day joke eh?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Microsoft to Buy VeriSign
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Monday April 01 2002, @10:35PM (#5677)
    User #2810 Info
    I figured it had to be an April Fools joke when Google didn't provide any hits on it, though for a time I had to consider that might be due to the pigeons making a rare mistake. -g
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: April Fools?
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Monday April 01 2002, @01:00PM (#5673)
    User #2810 Info
    Ya, the workers are always the last to know. Here's a Microsoft press release that seems to have something to do with it. -g
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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