Symantec said that it will acquire LifeLock for $2.3 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, Symantec will pay $24 per share in a transaction financed with cash on hand and $750 million of new debt.
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.” 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”he added.