Security solutions provider Symantec and storage solutions provider VERITAS Software announced their intentions to merge. The merger would create one of the largest vendors in the computing industry. Gary L. Bloom, Chairman, President and CEO of VERITAS Software said that according to IDC data " the total market opportunity for the combined company today is approximately $35 billion and is expected to grow to $56 billion by 2007."

The combined company will operate under the Symantec name and provide a well-rounded suite of solutions across all computing platforms for any size business. Solutions will include both security and storage to cover desktops, servers, applications, and gateways. 

John W. Thompson, Chairman and CEO at Symantec said, "The new Symantec will help customers balance the need to both secure their information and make it available, thus ensuring its integrity. We believe that information integrity provides the most cost-effective, responsive way to keep businesses up, running and growing in the face of system failures, Internet threats or natural disasters." 

Bloom said, "Our customers have told us that one of their most critical needs is to enable 24x7 access to information. At the same time, they must maintain tight security, comply with all regulatory requirements and operate within their existing budget constraints. Through our unique portfolio of solutions, Symantec and VERITAS are best positioned to address the ever-growing needs of our customers."

Under the terms of the deal VERITAS stock will be converted to Symantec stock at a price of $27.38 per share for a total transaction price of about $13.5 billion. The deal, which is expected to close by the second quarter of 2005, is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.