425, 2000-03-07
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                                                Filed by Network Solutions, Inc.
                           Pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act of 1933

                                                Subject Company:  VeriSign, Inc.
                                                   Commission File No. 000-23593

                            VERISIGN ACQUIRES NETWORK
                            SOLUTIONS TO FORM WORLD'S
                          LARGEST PROVIDER OF INTERNET
                                 TRUST SERVICES
           Combined Trust Infrastructure to Accelerate E-Commerce for
            Millions of Businesses and Consumers across the Internet

Mountain View, CA & Herndon, VA, March 7, 2000 --
VeriSign, Inc. (Nasdaq:VRSN), the leading provider of Internet trust services,
and Network Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: NSOL), the world's leading provider of
Internet domain name registration and global registry services, today announced
the signing of a definitive agreement for VeriSign to acquire Network Solutions
in an all-stock purchase transaction. This transaction combines two
infrastructure leaders whose trust services support businesses and consumers
from the moment they first establish an Internet presence through the entire
lifecycle of e-commerce activities.

Under the agreement, VeriSign will issue 2.15 shares of VeriSign common stock
for each share of Network Solutions stock as constituted prior to the 2-for-1
split of Network Solutions stock to be completed on March 10, 2000. The
transaction, valued at approximately $21 billion based on yesterday's closing
price of VeriSign common stock, has been approved by both companies' Boards of
Directors and is subject to approval by VeriSign and Network Solutions
stockholders. The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2000,
subject to customary conditions, including obtaining necessary regulatory
approvals. The resulting company expects to add to its existing employee base to
exploit new market opportunities. At closing, Network Solutions will become a
subsidiary of VeriSign with Jim Rutt continuing to serve as Network Solutions'
CEO, reporting to Stratton Sclavos, president and CEO of VeriSign.

"With one of the largest subscriber bases on the Internet, VeriSign and Network
Solutions will have the scale and range of services to take e-commerce to the
next level," said Stratton Sclavos, president and CEO of VeriSign. "With Network
Solutions as the gateway to establishing online identity and Web presence, and
VeriSign as the provider of Internet authentication, validation and payment
services, our combined company will serve as the trust utility that will power
the Internet economy."

"VeriSign and Network Solutions have a longstanding partnership, which makes
this combination a natural evolution for our business and for the Internet,"
said Jim Rutt, CEO of Network Solutions. "Combining the two most trusted brands
in Internet infrastructure provides millions of businesses and consumers with
the confidence to conduct a broad range of e-commerce activities, from their
first online experience to high value transactions and advanced communications."

VeriSign and Network Solutions together will deliver businesses and consumers an
unparalleled range of services that cover the four key stages of the e-commerce
lifecycle. These include:

     o    Establishing Online Presence - domain name registration, global
          directory listings, DNS distribution, e-mail and basic Web site

     o    Basic E-Commerce - digital certificate-based authentication for secure
          Web site transactions and e-mail, credit card payment services and
          global domain name management

     o    Customer/Supply-Chain Management - secure extranet services, virtual
          private networks (VPNs), secure messaging, wireless communications and
          real-time validation

     o    Global Trading - buyer and supplier credentials for B2B Exchanges,
          trusted directories, purchase card and automated clearing house (ACH)
          payments, digital receipts and archiving

Network Solutions, the leading registrar and exclusive registry of domain names
in .com, .net, and .org, provides a broad range of services that allow
businesses and individuals to establish and enhance their Web presence. The
company's Registry business is the sole provider of .com, .net, and .org.
registration services to 34 domain name registrars worldwide, and serves as the
Internet's trusted "master directory" for those domain names. Network Solutions
also serves as the leading domain name registrar, with more than 8.1million
registrations and 240 major partners worldwide. The company's Registrar services
include domain name registration, idNames TM corporate services, ImageCafeTM Web
sites, the dot com directoryTM "Internet find engine" and other Web value-added
services, and counts AltaVista, AOL Netcenter, EarthLink, Interliant, Microsoft
and Yahoo! among its strategic alliances.

VeriSign, a leader in Internet trust services, provides authentication, payment,
and validation services that secure e-commerce transactions and communications
for more than 1,000 enterprises, 215,000 Web servers and millions of consumers
around the world. VeriSign's services are fundamental to mission-critical
e-commerce applications such as online retailing and financial services, supply
chain management and virtual private networking. The company's offerings include
Secure SiteSM services for Web sites, Go Secure!SM services for enterprises and
SignioTM payment services for merchants and B2B exchanges - in both the wired
and wireless worlds. The company's blue-chip customers include leaders such as
Bank of America, Ford Motor Company and Texas Instruments. VeriSign also offers
global distribution of its services through an extensive network of over 3,500
ISPs and ASPs and 25 international affiliates, such as British
Telecommunications, eSign Australia, KPN Telecom and Telia, and has strategic
alliances with AOL/Netscape, Dun & Bradstreet, Microsoft, Motorola and VISA
among others.

About VeriSign
VeriSign, Inc. is the leading provider of Internet trust services including
authentication, validation and payment - needed by Web sites, enterprises and
e-commerce service providers to conduct trusted and secure electronic commerce
and communications over IP networks. VeriSign's trust services for Web sites,
developers and individuals are available through and through a
growing number of ISPs and Web hosting companies. The company's digital
certificate services for enterprises and electronic commerce service providers
are available through regional account representatives, resellers, and global
affiliates. VeriSign is a registered trademark exclusively licensed to VeriSign,
Inc. Go Secure! and Secure Site are service marks of VeriSign, Inc. and Signio
is a trademark of Signio, Inc.

About Network Solutions
Founded in 1979, Network Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: NSOL) pioneered the
development of registering Web addresses ending in .com, .net, .org and .edu and
is the world's leading Registrar with more than 8.1 million net registrations.
To meet the needs of corporations worldwide, Network Solutions also provides
domain name registration services for all available country-code Top-Level
Domains, for example, .de (Germany), .fr (France) and .uk (United Kingdom).
Network Solutions additionally plays a critical role in the infrastructure of
the Internet through its Registry services. Network Solutions' Registry
customers include all the Registrars of domain names ending in .com, .net and
 .org. Network Solutions also provides Internet Technology Services that assist
large commercial organizations in the evolution and management of their Internet
technologies. For more information, see the Web site. Network
Solutions registers the majority of Web addresses worldwide through various
channels, including nearly 240 companies in over 30 countries in its Premier
Program and over 41,000 companies in the Affiliate Program. Network Solutions
has created value-added small business solutions through agreements with leading
companies such as American Express (NYSE: AXP), IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Microsoft
(Nasdaq: MSFT). Through its Alliance Program, Network Solutions works closely
with EarthLink (Nasdaq: ELNK), Interland, Inc. and Interliant, Inc. (Nasdaq:
INIT). Network Solutions also has entered into marketing agreements with
companies like AltaVista, Netscape and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO).

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter served as financial advisors to VeriSign, Inc., and
JP Morgan and Chase H&Q served as financial advisors to Network Solutions, Inc.,
during this transaction.


This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the
Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Such statements are based on the current expectations and beliefs of managements
of VeriSign and Network Solutions and are subject to a number of factors and
uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
described in the forward-looking statements. In particular, the following
factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from
those described in the forward-looking statements: failure of the transaction to
close due to the failure to obtain regulatory or other approvals; failure of the
VeriSign or Network Solutions stockholders to approve the merger; the risk that
the VeriSign and Network Solutions businesses will not be integrated
successfully and unanticipated costs of such integration; failure of the
combined company to retain and hire key executives, technical personnel and
other employees; failure of the combined company to manage its growth and the
difficulty of successfully managing a larger, more geographically dispersed
organization; failure of the combined company to successfully manage its
changing relationships with customers, suppliers and strategic customers;
failure of the combined company's customers to accept the new service offerings
and, in particular, the risk that businesses and consumers may not adopt the
Internet for electronic commerce as rapidly as anticipated; the risk that
security breakdowns on the Internet might adversely affect the growth of
electronic commerce; and competition in the various markets serviced by the
combined company.

For a detailed discussion of these and other cautionary statements, please refer
to the joint proxy statement/prospectus to be filed by both companies as
described below, as well as the companies' filings with the Securities and
Exchange Commission, especially in the "Factors That May Affect Future Results
of Operations" section of the Management's Discussion and Analysis section of
VeriSign's Form 10-K for 1999, Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30,
1999, the "Risk Factors" section of VeriSign's S-3 Registration Statement filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 11, 2000, the "Factors
Affecting Operating Results" section of the Management's Discussion and Analysis
section of Network Solutions' Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 1999
that was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 15, 1999
and the "Risk Factors" section of Network Solutions' S-3 Registration Statement
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 22, 1999 and
subsequently amended.


Solutions expect to mail a joint proxy statement/prospectus about the merger to
their respective stockholders. Such joint proxy statement/prospectus will be
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by both companies. Investors
and security holders may obtain a free copy of the joint proxy
statement/prospectus (when available) and other documents filed by the companies
at the Securities and Exchange Commission's web site at The
joint proxy statement/prospectus and such other documents may also be obtained
from VeriSign or Network Solutions by directing such requests to the respective
addresses listed below. VeriSign and its officers and directors may be deemed to
be participants in the solicitation of proxies from VeriSign's stockholders with
respect to the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement. Information
regarding such officers and directors is included in VeriSign's Proxy Statement
for its 1999 Annual Meeting of Stockholders filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission on April 22,1999. This document is available free of charge
at the Securities and Exchange Commission's Web site at and
from the VeriSign contact listed below. Network Solutions and its officers and
directors may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from
stockholders of Network Solutions with respect to the transactions contemplated
by the merger agreement. Information regarding such officers and directors is
included in Network Solutions' S-3 Registration Statement filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on December 22, 1999, and subsequently
amended. This document is available free of charge at the Securities and
Exchange Commission's Web site at and from the Network
Solutions contact listed below.


For Network Solutions:
Corporate Media: Christopher Clough, [email protected],
+1-703/742-4706 or
Cheryl Regan, [email protected], +1-703/742-4847.
Investor Relations: Sean McClorey, [email protected],
Customer Service:,

Edelman Public Relations Worldwide
Jeff Wenker 650-429-2768
Email: [email protected]

VeriSign Investor Relations
Kathleen Ochsner 650-429-3512
Email: [email protected]

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Copyright (C) 2000, VeriSign, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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