EU regulator approves Intel's $7.68-bn McAfee acquisition

Intel Inc, has finally received the European regulator's nod for its $7.68-billion proposed acquisition of security-software specialist McAfee Inc after the world's largest chip maker agreed to grant rival firms access to its technology.

The Brussels-based regulator, the European Commission (EC) yesterday approved Intel's acquisition of the world's second-largest security software company after Intel agreed to give rival security firms access to all necessary information to use functionalities of Intel's CPUs and chipsets in the same way as those functionalities used by McAfee.

Intel also committed not to actively impede competitors' security solutions from running on Intel CPUs or chipsets. Finally, Intel will avoid hampering the operation of McAfee's security solutions when running on personal computers containing CPUs or chipsets sold by Intel's competitors.

"The commitments submitted by Intel strike the right balance, as they allow preserving both competition and the beneficial effects of the merger. These changes will ensure that vigorous competition is maintained and that consumers get the best result in terms of price, choice and quality of the IT security products," said Joaquín Almunia, EC's vice-president in charge of competition policy.

In August, Intel said that it would buy McAfee for $7.68 billion to enable customers to get security software and hardware from one company. The proposed acquisition is Intel's largest acquisition to date.

In December, the EC had privately expressed concerns during its preliminary review of the deal since Intel had said that it would incorporate McAfee's security features into its widely used microprocessor chips. (See: Intel deal to buy McAfee under EU scanner: report)