The cyber security giant Symantec announced on Monday that it will acquire LifeLock, an identity protection firm for whooping $2.3 billion.
The term of agreement goes as follows, Symantec will pay $24 per share in a transaction financed with cash on hand and a $750 million of new debt.
LifeLock provides identity and fraud protection services to more than 4.4 million customers.
While Symantec is shelling out billions to acquire to the leading provider of identity theft protection services, LifeLock has had its share of blemishes over the years.
In March 2010, the FTC slapped LifeLock with a fine of $11 million to settle charges that the company used false claims to promote its identity theft protection services. At the same time, the company agreed to pay $1 million to a group of 35 state attorneys general.
“While LifeLock promised consumers complete protection against all types of identity theft, in truth, the protection it actually provided left enough holes that you could drive a truck through it,” now former FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said at the time.
In late 2015, LifeLock agreed to pay a fine of $100 million after failing to comply with the 2010 federal court order requiring it to secure consumers’ personal information and prohibiting deceptive advertising.
Allegations claimed that LifeLock made false claims about protecting the personal information it collects from its customers, including “falsely advertising that it protected consumers’ sensitive data with the same high-level safeguards as financial institutions.”
As part of its marketing campaigns, LifeLock would often post the Social Security number of its CEO at the time Todd Davis in its advertisements—a show of confidence that the company’s service can protect consumers who may have had their private information exposed, including Social their Security numbers. However, according to the Phoenix New Times, Davis had been a victim of identity theft at least 13 times.
Despite past issues at LifeLock, Symantec believes the LifeLock service can be a valuable addition to its consumer-focused security offerings.
Symantec CEO Greg Clark said the acquisition would allow it to bundle Symantec’s Norton security software with LifeLock’s protection service. “This acquisition marks the transformation of the consumer security industry from malware protection to the broader category of Digital Safety for consumers,” Clark said in a statement.
“People’s identity and data are prime targets of cybercrime. The security industry must step up and defend through innovation and vigilance,” said Dan Schulman, Symantec’s Chairman of the Board. “With the acquisition of LifeLock, Symantec adds a new dimension to its protection capabilities to address the expanding needs of the consumer marketplace.”
The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval in the United States and LifeLock stockholder approval.
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