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VeriSign Hit By Stock-Option Probe

Before receiving this week's official requests from the SEC and a U.S. attorney in California, VeriSign said its board had started an internal review and analysis of its historical stock-option grants.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — VeriSign Inc. has received a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California requesting documents relating to its stock option grants and practices.

VeriSign (Mountain View, Calif.) has also received an informal inquiry from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requesting documents related to its stock option grants and practices. VeriSign is voluntarily responding to this request and intends to cooperate fully with the SEC.

Prior to receiving either of these requests, VeriSign's board had commenced an internal review and analysis of its historical stock option grants. This internal review is continuing.

VeriSign operates intelligent infrastructure services for customers.

More than a dozen U.S. electronics companies have been caught up in the stock options . Earlier this week, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox said the agency would issue new guidelines on the backdating of stock options "that will more clearly circumscribe the bounds of acceptable conduct."

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