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Intel offers concessions to EU on McAfee

Reuters
Jan 07, 2011 at 06:43am IST

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Boston/Brussels: Intel has offered concessions in a bid to win European Union antitrust clearance for its $7.7 billion purchase of security software maker McAfee Inc.

Shares in McAfee, the world's No. 2 maker of security software after Symantec Corp, rose 1.7 percent on the news in late morning trade on Thursday, while Intel shares fell 1.4 per cent.

The Commission, the regulatory watchdog of the 27-nation European Union, said on its website that it has extended the deadline to January 26 from January 12 after commitments to deal with competition concerns were submitted.

Intel offers concessions to EU on McAfee

Intel expects its acquisition of McAfee will close in the first half of this year.

It did not provide details on the concessions and Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy declined to discuss the issue late on Wednesday, saying such any concessions would be a private matter.

But he said that Intel expects its acquisition of McAfee will close in the first half of this year.

The commission is concerned that Intel might embed certain elements of McAfee's virus-fighting technology in its widely used microprocessor chips for personal computers, giving it an unfair advantage over rivals, according to the two people familiar with the case.

Intel had already secured clearance from the US Federal Trade Commission on December 21 for the deal, which would be its largest ever acquisition.

Intel's plan to buy McAfee underscores how security has become a concern in a world of Web-enabled devices. Swallowing McAfee would give Intel the opportunity to sell high-profit security software alongside its microprocessors to its traditional PC customers.

Analysts say Intel could differentiate its processors by designing chips that speed up the security scans typically performed by McAfee software or creating technology that makes gadgets less vulnerable to attacks by hackers.

European regulators are concerned that doing so might create an unfair advantage for Intel over rivals such as Symantec, according to the people familiar with the case.

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