May 28, 2018 | US-Israeli software firm Verint Systems is reportedly in talks to merge with Israeli cyber surveillance company NSO Group valued at $1 billion, an anonymous source close to the matter said Monday, according to Reuters. NSO Group, the Israeli firm founded in 2010 by Niv Carmi, Omri Lavie, and Shalev Hulio that develops mobile device surveillance software, would remain independent, but as a division within Verint, the source said. NSO was acquired by US private equity firm Francisco Partners in 2014 for $110 million and is currently the Israeli company’s controlling shareholder. According to the Wall Street Journal, where the talks were first reported, Verint has offered to pay Francisco Partners with Verint stock, which will make the San Francisco-based firm Verint’s largest shareholder, if the merger occurs. NSO Group supplies mobile surveillance tools for governments and law enforcement agencies but has been criticized by human rights and online privacy activists for creating spyware.