January 26, 2011

Intel McAfee Takeover Gets Green Light from EU


Regulators in the European Union have cleared Intel's $7.68 billion takeover of McAfee (News - Alert) Inc., removing the last major hurdle in what will be the chipmaker's largest deal on record. Intel agreed to allow its products to work with other computer security software as a condition of the decision by the European Commission.

Intel (News - Alert) expects to close the acquisition by the end of the first quarter, according to Reuters. The acquisition will enable Intel to bolster the security of Internet-connected devices. The company said rival security companies will have access to all the necessary information to enable their products to use Intel's chips and CPUs. Intel has also pledged not to block competitors' security solutions from running on its products, and to avoid hampering operation of McAfee products on PCs with hardware from Intel rivals.

"We believe the agreement addresses the concerns of the Commission, meanwhile allowing Intel and McAfee to continue to innovate in the critical area of security," said Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy.

"The commitments submitted by Intel strike the right balance, as they allow preserving both competition and the beneficial effects of the merger," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.

Intel got the green light from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Dec. 21. McAfee is the number two maker of security software behind Symantec (News - Alert) Corp., while Intel's processors are used in 80 percent of the world's PCs. Intel shares were up 1.4 percent at $21.85 in afternoon trading, while McAfee shares rose 0.5 percent to $47.96, near the $48 per share in cash that Intel will lay out in the acquisition.

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Edited by Janice McDuffee