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FTC Approves Intel’s Acquisition of McAfee

December 22, 2010

Intel announced on Tuesday that their acquisition of computer security company McAfee has won approval from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), clearing one more obstacle from the proposed $7.68 billion dollar acquisition deal.

“The Federal Trade Commission has concluded its review of the proposed McAfee transaction and has cleared it,” Intel’s vice president for investor relations Kevin Sellers wrote on the Santa Clara, California-based company’s investor relations website. “We are continuing to work with the staff at the European Commission as they continue their review.”

Intel announced plans to acquire McAfee, which is also headquartered in Santa Clara, on August 19. Tuesday’s announcement clears the way for the $48 per share acquisition in the United States, but according to Reuters, officials from the European Union are concerned that the deal could give McAfee “privileged access to security features on Intel’s microprocessor chips,” which would give them an unfair advantage of their competition.

“I’m not anticipating any trouble on that front,” Alex Gauna, an analyst with JMP Securities, told the news agency. “My supposition here is that it is simply taking a bit more time overseas than here, and obviously Intel has had its recent wrangling with the European Union, which may be throwing just another dimension of complexity into the process.”

The wrangling to which Gauna was referring to involves a $1.39 billion fine levied against Intel by the EU for antitrust infractions committed against rival chip manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). The company also faced antitrust probes in 1991, 2004, and 2005, according to various sources.

According to Bloomberg reporter Ian King, “Intel plans to run McAfee as an independent company, under the leadership of current Chief Executive Officer Dave DeWalt. It also will continue to sell stand-alone software products.” King also notes that new Intel-produced chips, which would feature “capabilities provided by McAfee,” would on sale sometime in 2011.

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