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Symantec to Buy Veritas 258

jortega writes "Symantec is looking into buying Veritas for $13bn." The linked article is mostly about biz stuff. Seems like a kind of strange deal to me.
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Symantec to Buy Veritas

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  • A done deal (Score:4, Informative)

    by Albanach ( 527650 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @02:28PM (#11107036) Homepage
    The BBC and others are reporting [bbc.co.uk] that it's a done deal. In a merger deal valued at $13.5bn (£7bn) the all-share deal will see Symantec swap 1.1242 shares of common stock for each Veritas share.
    • This is part of John Thompson's bid to make Symantec "six by six"--that's $6B revenue (or profit? I think revenue...) by end of 2006. It's a great promise to investors, but not if it requires reckless M&A's.

      When I heard about this (when I worked there), I thought, "As long as it doesn't cause 'zero by seven.'"

  • The Market (Score:3, Funny)

    by Prince Vegeta SSJ4 ( 718736 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @02:29PM (#11107051)
    doesn't like this much, Symantec is down 8% and Veritas is down slightly as well, and so far has failed to approach the takeover price of around $30 bucks a share. Probably due to increased competition in the secuiruty market.
    • doesn't like this much, Symantec is down 8% and Veritas is down slightly as well, and so far has failed to approach the takeover price of around $30 bucks a share. Probably due to increased competition in the secuiruty market.

      Symantec doesn't have $30/share for Veritas. It's actually a stock for stock trade, with 1 share of Veritas getting 1.1242 shares of Symantec. At $25.15 for Symantec, that only makes Veritas worth $28.27/share.

  • How is it strange? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by downer ( 22342 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @02:30PM (#11107056) Homepage
    This makes Symantec a one-stop shop for all things IT enterprise/security related: anti-virus, anti-spam, data recovery, network security, etc.
    • by gclef ( 96311 )
      Because everything *except* the data backup are traditional "security" roles. Backup is needed, and recognized by security folks as good, but backup isn't traditionally considered a "security" product. So, to the market (and to many outsiders), this looks like Symantec trying to buy their way into a market they have no expertise in.

      Given my experience with Symantec's other areas that they bought their way into (firewalls, for example), I think this means it's time to stop considering Veritas...if it's an
      • Because everything *except* the data backup are traditional "security" roles. Backup is needed, and recognized by security folks as good, but backup isn't traditionally considered a "security" product.

        Backup is necessary for data integrity, and data integrity is necessary for security. Sounds pretty straightforward to me.

        So, to the market (and to many outsiders) this looks like Symantec trying to buy their way into a market they have no expertise in.

        Symantec's very big on acquisition; if they don't
        • TWO WORDS (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @03:21PM (#11107921) Homepage Journal

          The world of Information Security has been turned on its ear in the past two years. Little - if any - corporate security measures are focused on methodology such as Threat Analysis or Risk Assessment. The brave new world is mandated compliance - with Sarbanes-Oxley taking the lead at publicly-traded corporations.

          Symantec probably has their eye on the data-retention provisions of SOX and GLBA. This is their sales message - because CEO's get jail-time for SOX violations.

        • Symantec's very big on acquisition; if they don't already make some product in their market space, they buy someone who does. They've been in the desktop backup space for a while after buying PowerQuest (Norton Ghost), and now they're extending it to the server space with Veritas.

          Powerquest was Partition Magic. Norton has had Norton Ghost for ages; it's an drive imaging and backup tool.

          I guess I've always looked to Norton for their utilities sweet and AV. They only got a firewall after buying ATGaurd; it
      • gclef wrote: Because everything *except* the data backup are traditional "security" roles. Backup is needed, and recognized by security folks as good, but backup isn't traditionally considered a "security" product.

        If you view it from more of a risk management viewpoint and call it all "business continuity", then backup fits quite well. In that case most security plays a preventative role, and backup plays a recovery role. My guess is that many of the buyers are viewing it from this viewpoint. If your pro

      • Products page [symantec.com]. (I was going to cite examples, but it's easier to just link that page.)
  • OMG (Score:5, Funny)

    by FreeLinux ( 555387 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @02:31PM (#11107089)
    Who does Symantec think they are? Computer Associates?
  • by dbfruth ( 707400 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @02:31PM (#11107090)
    This is probably a good thing. I sure as hell wouldn't install anything from Symantic without doing a backup first.
  • I heard (Score:3, Funny)

    by mabu ( 178417 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @02:35PM (#11107139)
    Symantec isn't actually buying the company, they're giving them a bunch of copies of Norton Antivirus and will slowly drive them into bankruptcy via the subscription fees. At which point they'll take over the company based on the money owed.
    • That really is evil. You must think of corporate world domination every day!

      And based on one of your previous posts

      "How to raise money for your venture"

      1. Buy lots of bread.. put them in the toaster..
      2. If the toast looks like the Virgin Mary, put it up on eBay
      3. $$Profit$$ (below),

      it looks like you're giving all your secrets away. I will be patiently awaiting your future business savvy advice on Slashdot!

  • Another company they can screw up. Wasn't screwing *their* employees enough for them? That's right - this company is flush with so much cash, but they have no problem getting rid of their permanent employees, then rehiring them as contractors.

    The only thing I want to know is whether Symantec execs will remove their dicks from the asses of their employees now, and will transfer that love to Veritas employees.
  • Office Reaction (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dJCL ( 183345 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @02:42PM (#11107258) Homepage
    We resell Veritas on every major server we build, and when I mentioned the aquisition this morning the comment from everyone was effectivly "I guess we will need to find new backup software to sell with our servers." It wasn't even a thought, we just don't want to deal with symantec.

    I agree...

    • Why? Seriously, if you've got stories, tell them.
    • Re:Office Reaction (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Ubergrendle ( 531719 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @02:57PM (#11107502) Journal
      My corporation just spent 2 years divesting itself from all Symantec products. We literally finished this last quarter; we've actually removed Symanetc from all of our acquisition systems and our software vendors know to remove it from their customised catalogues.

      With the announcement of this deal, the show of hands was unanimous for 'people not returning after christmas' who work on the Veritas account. ;)

    • What do you bet the backup software will be modified to start popping up messages to try to get people to buy their other products?

      I gave up on Norton a couple of years ago. Nearly everyone I know that still uses Norton is very unhappy with all the popups that have nothing to do with the task at hand - dealing with computer viruses and related malware.

      We now have Computer Associates eTrust Antivirus on every Windoze computer at the office. It works every bit as well as Norton did at its' best and with n
  • In related news (Score:4, Informative)

    by bigberk ( 547360 ) <bigberk@users.pc9.org> on Thursday December 16, 2004 @02:43PM (#11107273)
    Microsoft has purchased an anti-spyware company [thestreet.com], so in fact Microsoft might simultaneously be entering the security market to compete with Symantec. This news is fresh, and might be depressing the market's enthusiasm about Symantec/Veritas.
  • by gargonia ( 798684 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @02:44PM (#11107284)
    I know I would diversify if I were them. With predictions of new vulnerabilities being exploited within hours [zdnet.co.uk] it seems like anti-virus software would be a risky business to be in right now. If a major organization got rooted via an exploit that their software didn't protect them from quickly enough they might try to sue Symantec for failing to provide adequate protection. I don't think such a case would be have much merit or be successful, but it would still cost money to defend against it. It might be a very savvy move to have another field to expand into if the market on AV got tight.
  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @02:46PM (#11107325) Journal
    ...Master of None.

    Once, long ago, Peter Norton made some damn good tools for DOS. Then came their antivirus product, and it was pretty good, too.

    Then came Symantec, and so far I'm not impressed with anything they've done. Have they done anything? Other than buy other companys' products and rebrand them?

    All the cool stuff, like Ghost, Tools and AV, came from Norton. The Raptor/Velociraptor firewalls were purchased.

    Veritas makes some good stuff. Unfortunately, I believe Symantec will fix that over time.

    Mediocre seems to be their watchword.

    • Ghost was not originally a Norton/Symantec product either. It came from a company called Binary Research International [siggraph.org]

      The Norton Utilities were mighty fun during the DOS days.

    • I don't remember now - was the norton thing before or after symantec was into being an ide company competing with borland with symantec cafe?
    • Veritas is actually a massive conglomeration of many many smaller dotcom-era acquisitions. Big fish, swallowing smaller fish, getting swallowed by another big fish.

      When I worked there, I lived through several M&A cycles, but sooner or later, they always look at site redundancies as a way to settle old scores, (former competitors, internal power struggles).

      I'd be very nervous if I worked at any of the smaller sites, or especially HQ in MV, or for any "overlap" departments (Support, HR, etc.).

      The long
  • From http://www.veritas.com/

    "Symantec Corp. and VERITAS Software Corp. today announced a definitive agreement to merge in an all-stock transaction. Based on Symantec's stock price of $27.38 at market close on December 15, 2004, the transaction is valued at approximately $13.5 billion."

  • by ecalkin ( 468811 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @02:48PM (#11107352)
    it was conner backup exec in 1993.
    then it was purchased by acada (? - acadia)
    then it was purchased by seagate
    then it was purchased by veritas

    and amazingly enough, backup exec has continued to get better over time.

    • Quest->Arcada->Conner-Seagate->Veritas.

      I happen to know that these poor saps spend a LOT of time re-branding that software.

      They should just give up, and define BRAND as a constant in the header, so it can be a one-liner.
  • by museumpeace ( 735109 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @02:56PM (#11107486) Journal
    from the art:
    ...It would be somewhat surprising to see Veritas agree to an acquisition , given that the company's CEO Gary Bloom has long said he thinks Veritas can grow at a steady pace on its own. Veritas has acquired numerous companies over the past two years, trying to build out its server software portfolio.... Gary Bloom used to work for Oracle...he was the VP that oversaw Oracle's swallowing of e-travel so he knows exactly what he is up against. [disclosure...I was one of a small handful of SW engineers who escaped with some dot.com lucre when Oracle later disgorged e-travel.]
    I would look at Symantec buying Veritas as a defensive move...EMC has moved into new markets aggressively and managing the security of all that data they already store/fetch would be logical. It would also seriously crimp a growth path that Symantec could take into the same market space from its position as a security provider.
    Now, who can tell me if I should sell my VRTS?
  • by IronChefMorimoto ( 691038 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @02:56PM (#11107490)
    Would it not be sick, evil irony if we all found out that, after Symantec purchases Veritas, Symantec's "other" software lines include:

    - Symantec Virus DevStudio 7
    - Symantec Spam Server 5
    - Symantec Gator
    - Symantec Hard Drive Eraser 4
    - Symantec Registry Hoser XP
    - Symantec Network Trojan 5.5
    - Symantec EZ Spyware 4
    - Symantec RAID Drive Ejector 3

    That would pretty much cover their business development needs for the OTHER product line that we're already aware of.

  • You've ever delt with the crappy ass software Semantic sells.

    Veritas goes to Semantic and I dump Veritas with a vengance.

    Ultrabac does the same stuff with a lot smaller install, and for less money.
  • They buy these companies and then "poof" goes decent support. Except that shitty knowledgebase. The only company that has managed to fuck things up worse is Business Objects. They bought Crystal reports (the most sold company around) and their support is just aweful. They have forums that people post to but no employees seem to monitor. The instructions in the Crystal reports for installing things like the report server are written as if they wrote a functional version and then stripped any pertinent t
    • Off topic, but the only thing that sucks worse than Business Objects' support, is their software.

      Have you actually *used* anything they have besides Crystal Reports? I'll just say there is a damn good reason they bought their competition, and it's not to "pull a Microsoft"
  • by danielrm26 ( 567852 ) * on Thursday December 16, 2004 @02:59PM (#11107551) Homepage
    "Seems like a kind of strange deal to me."

    Not to me. If you ever get into the infosec theory stuff, you'll study the CIA acronym; the "A" in it stands for availability, and that's what backups provide.

    A backup company is a smart addition to a security company.
    • I can see that for Backup Exec and/or Netbackup, but I'm not sure what Symantec knows about volume managment (VxVM), filesystems (VxFS), and cluster (VCS). I'm afraid that they'll end up like a PC company (Compaq) buying an enterprise technology company (Digital). They'll think they know what they're doing, really not, and hose the entire mess.

      As an aside, I wonder how HP is feeling now? They dumped the filesystem (AdvFS) and clustering (TruCluster) that they bought by acquiring Compaq (who bought it by
  • Does anybody know what Symantec's size is saleswise?

    MS is #1 Oracle is #2. Are they #3 at this point?
  • this could move symantec into the Disaster Recovery world with anti virus and security solutions the next logical step is to have a segment that can secure data. With the Veritas backup suite of products it could realy provide them with the full suite of software packages.

    All in all it could be a great merger. However having seen how both of the companies work it maybe a very difficult transition for the two companies to amalgamate properly. That could lead to problems.
  • actually... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by deviator ( 92787 ) <bdpNO@SPAMamnesia.org> on Thursday December 16, 2004 @03:29PM (#11108029) Homepage
    I think this may improve Veritas. :)

    If anyone in the support industry has been watching Veritas lately, you'd know that while they offer some nice feature-rich products, said products generally don't always install out of the box and *work* properly. This has been a problem with niche OSes (i.e. Netware) for a few years and the problem is starting to creep into the Windows products (i.e. Backup Exec 9.x) as well. In fact, it reminds me of Computer Associates...

    Symantec Products, regardless of what you think of them, generally work out of the box without much hassle. They are not perfect, but they're pretty feature-complete and work quite well. We use Symantec AntiVirus Corp. Edition a LOT in the field because it works and has a decent management interface--McAfee doesn't work as well, CA's eTrust doesn't have good management tools... etc. It's the _least bad_ of the products on offer (Trend Micro is pretty good too, but I still like the centralized Symantec AV Console--it's quite clean)

    There aren't a lot of great feature-complete backup offerings out there (the archival storage industry has always lagged behind IMO - look at how expensive good-quality tape drives still are) thus Veritas *almost* has a monopoly on the market, especially for SMBs. As they've gotten bigger over the past few years (once they spun off from Seagate Software) the quality of their product has (I think) dropped dramatically.

    I still like Symantec overall- they do a decent job considering the size of the company. They've still got some neat products. Their antivirus division is industry-leading. I can't say that about every huge software company out there... most generally start crumbling under their own weight.

    So I'm optimistic...

    (is it just my imagination, or can Backup Exec trace its lineage to Norton Backup?

    is it:
    Norton Backup -> Norton Backup Exec -> Seagate Software Backup Exec -> Veritas Backup Exec -> Symantec Backup Exec?

    I could be dreaming)

    • (is it just my imagination, or can Backup Exec trace its lineage to Norton Backup?

      In-FUCKING-deed, yes!

      Kevin Azzouz, former CEO of Arcada, once remarked that he had done some coding for Norton Backup, back in the day. So yes, it's true, there probably IS some relationship there.
  • Just fyi, I use both Vertias BackupExec and Powerquest V2i Protector (It allows one to backup a machine using a method simlar to ghost). However, now that both of these are owned by symantec, I suppose I will have to investigate using Rsync with Cygwin over SSH for the windoze machines.

  • Not a big Symantec fan here. I have to support a program that somebody wrote with Symantec C, just before they gave up on that very buggy compiler. Then our org bought Norton, er, Symantec Anti-Virus, which has a bunch of rough edges, and now on this Pc I'm typing on the uninstall feature has broken, so I can't even cleanly uninstall the mess and switch to AVG. I expect the Veritas stuff to go to crap within a release or two, if old trends continue...
  • My opinion's hardly a comprehensive one, but as a Macintosh user who has seen tonce-great products for the platform such as Symantec C++ and Norton Utilities come and go, the title of an old Hollies song comes to mind. They truly are "King Midas In Reverse."

    Veritas meanwhile, should prepare to change its name to Falsitas.
  • You're all talking about Backup and Recovery, but Data Protection is only about a quarter of what Veritas does. The other three main areas of their product and services line are High Availability (failover clusters, local and global), Data Management (Volume manager, Veritas File System, SANpoint) and Application metrics (Command Center).

    I work for a Veritas reseller and am a Veritas certified specialist in backup and HA for Solaris. I'm very worried that with this merger, focus will be taken off their Sol
  • That was the sound of a toilet flushing.

    Symantec: The Microsoft Of Utilities
  • So it appears that Language (Greek - semantikos) has purchased Truth (Latin - veritas).

    Fox News has wisely already made the adjustment.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito