VeriSign buys .tv Web domain

The Internet registry company announces that it will take over control of the .tv Web domain by buying .tv Corp. International for $45 million cash.

VeriSign will take over control of the .tv Web domain by buying .tv Corp. International for $45 million cash, the company announced Monday.

VeriSign operates the registry for Internet addresses that end with the suffixes .com, .net and .org, handling the database where the names and subscriptions are stored. The .com, .net and .org suffixes of Web addresses are known as "top-level domains." The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers recently added seven new suffixes--.museum, .biz, .info, .aero, .name, .coop and .pro.

But each country also has its own top-level domain (.us for the United States, for example). The .tv domain is actually the country code for the South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu. Tuvalu licensed the domain to .tv Corp. in 2000 for $50 million, using part of that money to join the United Nations.

.tv Corp., which will become a wholly owned subsidiary of VeriSign, will continue to be the country manager of the government of Tuvalu for .tv extensions.

Separately, VeriSign announced Monday that it would pay $340 million in stock and cash to acquire H.O. Systems, which makes billing and customer management software for wireless carriers.

VeriSign said it would combine H.O.'s SpeedSuite products with the products offered by its Illuminet subsidiary, which operates an independent carrier-to-carrier switching network that allows carriers to route landline and wireless calls and offer caller ID, roaming and other services. VeriSign acquired Illuminet for $1.2 billion last September.

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