Security software company Symantec Corp. is negotiating to buy storage software vendor Veritas Software Corp. for more than US$13 billion, according to a report published Tuesday by The New York Times.

Negotiations are almost complete, and the companies could announce a deal this week, according to the report. However, some issues remain to be resolved after more than a month of talks, and the deal could still fall through, the report said, citing executives close to the negotiations.

Symantec representatives contacted in Europe were unavailable to comment on the report. A Veritas representative contacted for comment had been instructed not to discuss the report.

Veritas sells backup, archiving and file system software. The company is based in Mountain View, Calif., and has around 6,700 staff in 40 countries, according to the company’s Web site. Veritas reported revenue of $1.75 billion (all figures U.S.) for the year to Dec. 31, 2003. and $497 million for the quarter to Sept. 30.

Symantec sells software to protect computer systems and networks, including firewalls and tools to detect viruses and network intrusions. Its 6,000 staff are managed from Cupertino, Calif. Symantec reported revenue of $1.87 billion in its last fiscal year, the period to March 31, and for the quarter ended Sept. 30 it reported revenue of $618 million.

Acquiring Veritas would allow Symantec to extend protection of corporate information systems to the data they contain. So far this year, Symantec swallowed antispam software company Brightmail Inc. of San Francisco for $370 million and security consultant @Stake Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., and last week it announced plans to acquire intrusion system Platform Logic of Glenwood, Maryland.

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