Symantec To Buy Identity Protection Firm LifeLock for $2.3B
IT security giant Symantec announced yesterday that it plans to acquire identity theft protection company LifeLock for $2.3 billion. The acquisition is aimed at meeting the changing needs in the consumer security market as the cyber threat landscape continues to evolve, Symantec said.
Founded in 2005, LifeLock has had several brushes with controversy over its history. For example, in December 2015, the company agreed to pay $100 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it had violated a 2010 federal court order against deceptive advertising practices. LifeLock said it currently has more than 4.4 million members who use its identity theft protection services.
Symantec, meanwhile, is in transition following the departure of president and CEO Michael Brown in April. Brown was replaced by Greg Clark, who formerly headed the Web security firm Blue Coat, which was acquired by Symantec this year for $4.65 billion as part of the company's shift to a renewed focus on cybersecurity.
Merger Creates 'World's Largest Consumer Security Business'
In yesterday's announcement, Symantec said the acquisition of LifeLock will create "the world's largest consumer security business," with combined estimated annual revenues of more than $2.3 billion. The deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.
"People's identity and data are prime targets of cybercrime," Symantec board chairman Dan Schulman said in a statement. "The security industry must step up and defend through innovation and vigilance. With the acquisition of LifeLock, Symantec adds a new dimension to its protection capabilities to address the expanding needs of the consumer marketplace."
Together, the companies can do more for those who depend on them, said LifeLock president and CEO Hilary Schneider in a company blog post. "The combination of [Symantec brand] Norton and LifeLock will create one single solution for comprehensive protection, which is critical in our increasingly digital world. It will also enable innovation that wasn't possible before." The companies will share more information about coming changes with members and customers in the weeks ahead, he said.
'Transformation of Consumer Security Industry'
Since closing on its acquisition of Blue Coat in August, Symantec has rolled out two new cybersecurity solutions as part of the first phase of its "Integrated Cyber Defense Platform" goals.
"Product integrations are already having a significant impact on our ability to better protect customers and further validates the rationale and power of our combination," Clark said during Symantec's Q2 earnings call earlier this month. "Protecting customers in the cloud generation against a multifacted adversary requires an integrated cyber defense platform." Symantec is one of the only vendors to deliver cyber defense solutions across users, information, Web and messaging, Clark said.
Concerns about cybercrime continue to rise among enterprises and consumers. Cybercrime is now the second-most reported economic crime, with nearly one-third of business organizations reported having been a victim, according to PwC's 2016 Global Economic Crime Survey released earlier this year.
In a statement yesterday, Clark said the LifeLock acquisition "marks the transformation of the consumer security industry from malware protection to the broader category of digital safety for consumers."