VeriSign To Acquire Mobile-Content Distributor

M-Qube's technology is used by companies to help deliver and bill for mobile content, applications, and messaging services.
VeriSign Inc. on Monday said it has agreed to acquire M-Qube for $250 million in cash, and plans to use the company's technology to expand VeriSign's platform for delivering content to any mobile device.

M-Qube's technology is used by companies to help deliver and bill for mobile content, applications and messaging services. Customers of the Watertown, Mass., company include Sony Pictures, CBS, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Warner Music Group, Reuters, GQ, Virgin Mobile Canada and Telus Mobility, VeriSign officials said.

The $250 million acquisition is being accounted for as a purchase transaction and is expected to be neutral to earnings this year, VeriSign, based in Mountain View, Calif., said. The deal is set to close in the second quarter.

Buying M-Qube is expected to complement VeriSign's recent acquisitions of 3united and Kontiki. The overall strategy is to extend the company's digital content platform to enable carriers, Internet portals, media companies and consumer brands to deliver content and services to any mobile device.

"VeriSign is combining its world-class expertise, applications and infrastructure to make content convergence over any network and any device a reality," Vernon Irvin, executive vice president and general manager of VeriSign Communications Services, said in a statement. "M-Qube will increase our leadership and expand our services in this emerging category."

VeriSign acquired 3united, a wireless applications service provider, in February. Its customers include SingTel, Hutchinson3G and Mobilkom/Vodafone. Verisign bought Kontiki, which provides managed delivery systems for video and digital content, this month. America Online, BskyB and Verizon use the Kontiki platform to distribute multimedia services to PCs, Verisign said.