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Juniper to buy SMobile Systems for $70 million

Networking company plans to integrate SMobile's mobile device security software into its Junos Pulse platform.

Juniper Networks Inc. on Tuesday said it has agreed to acquire SMobile Systems Inc., a provider of security software for mobile devices, for approximately $70 million in cash.

Columbus, Ohio-based SMobile supplies security software for both the enterprise and consumer markets that protects a variety of mobile device platforms, including BlackBerry, Android, Apple iOS, Windows Mobile, and Symbian. Founded in 2002, the privately held company's portfolio includes antivirus, antispam, firewall protection and parental controls.

Juniper, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., said it plans to integrate SMobile's product portfolio into its Junos Pulse software platform for allowing smart phones and other mobile devices to securely access corporate resources.

"Integrating SMobile's portfolio into Junos Pulse will provide users with the most comprehensive mobile security solution available on the market," Mark Bauhaus, executive vice president and general manager for services layer technologies at Juniper, said in a prepared statement.

In a blog post, Bauhaus said the deal is expected to close in a few days. "It's no secret that mobile devices are quickly becoming a major (and in some cases THE major) means customers, partners and employees access corporate networks. With this come inevitable security concerns which have plagued 'traditional' corporate access in the past," he wrote.

In its announcement, Juniper cited an estimate from Infonetics Research, which forecasts the mobile client security market to grow to more than $1 billion by 2014.

The acquisition was the second announced in the data security market Tuesday. Earlier in the day, Commtouch Inc. said it agreed to buy Authentium Inc.'s Command antivirus division. The deals illustrate the continued consolidation in the security market. In May, Symantec Corp. agreed to buy VeriSign's authentication unit for $1.28 billion, just a few weeks after acquiring PGP Corp. and GuardianEdge Technologies Inc.

--By Marcia Savage

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