VeriSign Sells Mobile Messaging Unit

The move is part of a larger strategy to sell off noncore business so VeriSign can focus on domain registry and Internet security technology.

VeriSign continues to streamline its operations and has sold its European mobile messaging business to Sinon Invest Holding for an undisclosed amount.

VeriSign had purchased the mobile messaging company in 2006 from 3united Mobile Solutions for more than $65 million. The messaging business employs about 100 people, and it has been rebranding into Mobile Messaging Solutions, or MMS. The company said it will continue to work on mobile commerce, SMS, and mobile content products.

There also will be a strategic shift to target new markets, executives said. The messaging company has a strong footprint in Austria, but it will expand its presence to Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. The company also will continue to target large communications and media companies, but there will be a stronger push to service smaller players.

"We will shortly be launching some special mobile applications to the market that will also appeal to smaller companies which previously had no access to the possibilities of mobile marketing and its adaption to consumers for reasons linked to costs or know-how," said Harald Weinberger, the CTO of MMS, in a statement.

This is the latest move by VeriSign to sell off its noncore assets, as the company said it wants to focus on its core businesses of Internet infrastructure, domain registry, online security, and identity protection. Last October, the company sold its remaining share of the mobile content company Jamba/Jamster to News Corp. for $200 million, and it's in the process of selling as many as 12 noncore divisions.

But that doesn't mean VeriSign won't be active with acquisitions if the right opportunity presents itself, as the company recently purchased security specialist Certicom for about $72 million.

Find out what else is happening in the mobile messaging space with an independent analysis from InformationWeek. Download the report (registration required).

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