Internet infrastructure giant VeriSign announced Friday it will purchase Certicom, which specializes in wireless encryption, for $73 million.

“With the acquisition of Certicom, VeriSign will gain a leadership position in elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) technology, which is generally recognized as a highly efficient form of public-key encryption,” the companies said in a news release.

VeriSign will continue Certicom's efforts to deploy ECC products and promote adoption of ECC standards, a VeriSign spokeswoman told Friday in an email.

“We expect the transaction will create new opportunities to expand our core authentication businesses into new and/or adjacent markets, such as mobile devices,” she said.

Verisign will acquire all of the Certicom's outstanding common stock for $1.67 per share. The deal is expected to be complete by March, the companies said.

Research In Motion Limited (RIM) backed out of a deal Tuesday to purchase the common shares of Certicom for $1.22 per common share. VeriSign's acquisition of Certicom represents approximately a 40 percent premium over RIM's previous takeover bid.