The FTC has cleared Intel's $7.68 billion purchase of McAfee, just days after reports arose about EC concerns around the deal.
after reports surfaced that European regulators were
voicing antitrust concerns
about Intel's $7.68 billion bid for security
software maker McAfee, a U.S.
agency has given its blessing to the deal.
reported on its Website
Dec. 21 that the Federal Trade Commission has OK'd the
acquisition, and that Intel officials are continuing to work with the European
Commission-the antitrust arm of the European Union-during its review.
announced its intention to buy McAfee in August, with officials saying they
intend to incorporate more security capabilities into their processors. Under
Intel's plans, McAfee would continue to be run as an independent company and
would continue selling security software to other partners.
Intel officials have been vocal in their desire to integrate greater security
features onto their processors, particularly as the company looks to expand its
reach beyond its core PC and server businesses, into such areas as mobile and
embedded devices. At the company's Intel Developer Forum in September, President
and CEO Paul Otellini, as well as other
executives, talked about the ability to make PCs and other devices more secure
by integrating more security capabilities onto the chips.
idea is that hardware-based capabilities run faster than software-based
solutions and, in terms of security software, are more difficult for hackers to
James, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Software and
Services Group, talked about improvements in such areas as anti-theft
protection. Otellini said combining Intel's vPro security solution with McAfee's
offerings would enable PC and other device makers to build more proactive
the combination of hardware and software ... can yield this kind of innovation,
and that's the reason for buying McAfee," Otellini said during a keynote
speech at the event.
last week, the Wall Street Journal, quoting unnamed sources, said that European
regulators are worried that Intel's plans to use McAfee technology to build
greater security into its chips will unfairly hurt competition from McAfee
rivals. McAfee is the world's second largest security software maker behind
Symantec, and Intel owns more than 80 percent of the world's processor market,
which makes the chip maker a key partner for other security software vendors.
real worry, according the sources quoted by the WSJ, is whether the
McAfee-based security functions that Intel will embed into its chips will be
designed in such a way to only work-or only work best-with McAfee products,
which could hurt the ability for other security software makers to compete.
concern was similar to those voiced the FTC, when it filed suit against Intel
last year claiming the chip maker engaged in anti-competitive business
practices designed to unfairly hurt the ability of Advanced Micro Devices and
Nvidia to compete in the market. Among the complaints was that Intel altered
some of its technologies-such as compilers-so they wouldn't work as well with AMD
Intel settled the lawsuit with the FTC, and executives have said that while
the company may compete aggressively, it does so within the borders of the law.