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DigiCert: Partners Will Benefit from Symantec’s SSL Business

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**Editor’s Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting merger and acquisition news from May and June.**

Symantec is selling its SSL issuance certificate business to rival DigiCert for $950 million in cash and a 30 percent stake in DigiCert stock.

Symantec CEO Greg Clark said selling the assets will allow his company to sharpen its enterprise focus on “delivering unparalleled protection for the cloud generation through Symantec’s Integrated Cyber Defense Platform.” The acquisition is expected to be completed later this year.

DigiCert's John Merrill

DigiCert’s John Merrill

DigiCert CEO John Merrill tells Channel Partners that his company looks forward to serving partners “even better at the close of this deal.”

“Symantec’s website security has built a strong partner business that will complement ours, and we look forward to welcoming their partners,” he said. “The addition of Symantec’s website security solutions to DigiCert’s offerings, after we close, will bring together the industry’s top talent, and provide partners with the tools and resources they need to succeed.”

Until the deal closes, Symantec’s website security business will continue to operate as part of Symantec. After closing, DigiCert will “combine the best from both companies to offer an industry-leading partner program.”

DigiCert said it is committed to continually innovating in “ways that support our partners’ success.”

According to an SC Media report, Symantec’s certification business was hurt this spring when Google Chrome developers said they would immediately restrict transport layer security (TLS) certificates sold by Symantec-owned issuers, due to what they viewed as the repeated improper issuing of certifications.

Symantec’s biggest rival is Comodo. Michael Fowler, Comodo’s president, said the acquisition “represents a huge disruption for businesses of all sizes that rely on Symantec, and associated brands of Thawte, GeoTrust and RapidSSL, as their primary certificate authority (CA).”

“Symantec customers and partners are now faced with even more uncertainty with the types of products, capabilities, brand recognition and support they will receive as the Symantec SSL brands transition to another, lesser-known CA,” he said. “Customers and partners have been coming to us in droves because they feel they were left without a lot of answers at a time when their businesses are at risk. Meanwhile, Symantec profits from the highest bidder, who will be saddled with picking up the pieces.”

In June, Comodo announced that seven former Symantec channel leads had jumped ship and joined its global channel and business development team. Collectively, the team was the driving engine behind Symantec’s website security channel business, a unit that at one time represented about a quarter of the total revenue for the company’s website security business.


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