News Briefs

Insisting it did no wrong, Computer Associates International Inc. has nonetheless agreed to fork over US$638,000 to settle a civil suit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. The Justice Department had charged that CA and Platinum Technology Inc. took part in conduct known as “gun jumping,” or violating pre-merger waiting-period requirements and price-fixing laws. The Justice Department said CA agreed that Platinum would limit its price discounts and other terms it offered customers during the mandatory pre-merger waiting period. Without admitting to any wrongdoing, CA agreed to pay the government the original US$638,000 the Justice Department asked for when filing the charges in September 2001. CA acquired Platinum in 1999.

Network Associates backs off bid

Just as Network Associates Inc.’s purchase of Corp. seemed on the verge of completion, NAI last month withdrew its US$225 million offer for the security services and software company it spun off in 1999. NAI retains approximately a 75 per cent share in Financial turmoil seems to be the reason for the deal going awry, with NAI saying it discovered “accounting errors” in its 1999 and 2000 financial statements and would have to restate earnings for those years. The company disclosed in past weeks that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating its accounting practices.

VeriSign posts loss, announces layoffs

Citing lousy domain-name sales and tight corporate IT budgets, VeriSign Inc. reported lower-than-expected sales for the first quarter and plans to lay off 10 per cent of its workforce. The company changed its outlook for the year in anticipation of continued softness across all its markets – retail domain-name sales, enterprise security services and Internet database lookups – in the next two quarters. VeriSign employed 3,500 people before the layoffs.

Caspian goes with 3Com vet

Router start-up Caspian Networks Inc. last month announced that L. William “Bill” Krause has been appointed the company’s new president, CEO and chairman. Krause replaces President and CEO Bill Sickler. Sickler and Caspian’s board agreed the company needed new leadership now that it will soon bring its products to market, Caspian said in a statement. Krause was most recently CEO and president of Internet outsourcing firm Exodus Communications Inc., which was recently purchased by Cable and Wireless PLC. However, Krause is perhaps best known for his tenure as president and CEO of 3Com Corp. through the company’s high-growth years from 1981 to 1990. Under Krause’s leadership, 3Com grew from a venture capital-funded start-up to become a US$600 million publicly traded data networking company with operations worldwide. He was also chairman of 3Com’s board from 1987 to 1993. Caspian recently landed a whopping $120 million in funding and has raised $262 million to date to bring its Apeiro core router to market. The product is currently in trials and is expected to debut later this year.

W32.Klez worm still wriggling

The W32.Klez worm and its variants were still causing problems late last month, prompting antivirus software vendor Symantec to upgrade it to a “level 4 virus threat” on its danger scale of five. Symantec Corp. said it was receiving more than 3,000 submissions per day of W32.Klez and its variants. At the peak of the SirCam virus, in mid-2001, the company received about 1,500 daily submissions, Symantec said. W32.Klez.H, the latest variant of the W32.Klez mass-mailer worm that first surfaced last year, was discovered April 17. A variant of a worm contains attributes of the original but has been altered so that it behaves differently. Updated virus signatures from leading antivirus software vendors should protect against the worm.