Intel’s $7.68 billion McAfee bid raises EU concern

Tuesday, 21 December 2010 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

New York (Reuters): Intel Corp ‘s $7.68 billion deal to buy security-software specialist McAfee Inc is running into close scrutiny from European officials that could delay the transaction, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the newspaper said the European Union’s anti-trust regulator had privately expressed concerns during its preliminary review of the deal, which could prompt the regulator to submit the deal to a lengthy examination. A key focus of the European review, the report said, is Intel’s stated desire to incorporate security features into its widely used microprocessor chips. The EU appears concerned that if McAfee, by virtue of being owned by Intel, had privileged access to those features, it could be difficult for McAfee’s rivals to compete, they added.

Since Intel formally notified the European Commission of the deal in late November – a procedural step that kicked off the agency’s review – the commission has sent several questionnaires soliciting opinions about the deal from other security-software companies, the Journal’s sources said.

The questions focus on how Intel could embed security functions into its chips and whether any of them could be reserved to work only with McAfee software, according to one questionnaire reviewed by the Journal.