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VeriSign completes Network Solutions unit sale

VeriSign has completed the sale of its domain name registrar business to Pivotal Private Equity, freeing it up to focus on its infrastructure services.

The company announced that it was selling off its Network Solutions unit to Pivotal for approximately $100m last October, although it has retained a 15% equity stake. VeriSign is focusing on its registry business, which provides the backbone for the .com and .net domain names.

Pivotal Private Equity, a unit of investment and development firm Pivotal Group, said that it would expand Network Solutions' existing registrar services and distribution channels. The business provides domain registration, website management tools and e-mail services.

It was unclear whether customers would see a difference in prices or customer support offered by Network Solutions now that the handover is complete.

Network Solutions began managing the .com registry in 1988 and claims to have registered more than 25 million domain names since then. But despite being a lucrative business for VeriSign, the unit has also run the company into some trouble with regulators and customers who claimed that the company had too tight a hold on the domain name system.

In September, VeriSign settled with the US Federal Trade Commission over allegations that a marketing campaign tricked customers into transferring domain names to Network Solutions.

Scarlet Pruitt writes for IDG News Service


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