U.S. anti-trust regulators OK Intel purchase of McAfee

Not so fast, though: $7.7 billion acquisition faces continued scrutiny in Europe


The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has approved the planned purchase by chipmaker Intel of security software vendor McAfee.

However, European anti-trust regulators continue to have questions about the proposed deal, which would give McAfee the inside track on providing security features for Intel's market-leading microprocessor chips. European Union officials are concerned that by owning McAfee, Intel would jeopardize fair competition in the security software sector.

Here's the note left in the Intel Investor section of the company's website by investment relations VP Kevin Sellers:

"The Federal Trade Commission has concluded its review of the proposed McAfee transaction and has cleared it. We are continuing to work with the staff at the European Commission as they continue their review."

Intel announced an agreement last August to buy McAfee for $7.68 billion. Both companies are based in Silicon Valley. Intel initially expected the deal to close in this quarter or the first quarter of 2011. Now they have to wait for the EU probe to play out, and that could be awhile.

Shares of Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) were up 8 cents, or 0.4 percent, to 21.15 in late Tuesday trading. On Aug. 19, the day the McAfee purchase was announced, Intel shares fell 3.5 percent to 18.90.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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