Intel fights full probe into McAfee deal

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Series Details 19.1.11
Publication Date 19/01/2011
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Article reports that Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker by sales, was fighting in January 2011 to avoid a full probe by European competition regulators into its proposed $7.7bn acquisition of McAfee, the US security software company.

Although the deal has been approved by US regulators, sources in Brussels say a decision whether to proceed to an in-depth inquiry, which could at least stall the deal for some months, was finely balanced.

However, it was announced on the 26 January 2011 that the European Commission had approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of McAfee, a vendor of information technology security, by Intel, both of the US.

The approval was conditional upon a set of commitments ensuring fair competition between the parties and their competitors in the field of computer security, a growing concern due to the exponential rise in the number of malware such as viruses. The Commission was concerned that rival IT security products could be excluded from the marketplace given Intel's strong presence in the world markets for computer chips and chipsets. In particular, the Commission worried about the high likelihood that the merged entity would embed its own security solutions into its chips and chipsets. To alleviate those concerns, Intel committed to ensuring the interoperability of the merged entity's products with those of competitors. While the case raised technically complex issues, a conditional clearance decision could be achieved at the end of the preliminary first phase investigation thanks to the good cooperation of Intel.

Related Link(s)
European Commission; Press Release: IP/11/70: Mergers: Commission clears Intel's proposed acquisition of McAfee subject to conditions
BBC News, 26.1.11: Intel takeover of McAfee cleared by EU regulators
ESO: Background information: EU produces evidence for €1.1bn Intel fine
BBC News, 19.8.10: Intel in $7.68bn McAfee takeover

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