Federal Trade Commission Clears Intel-McAfee Deal

The US Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday approved Intel's blockbuster $7.68 acquisition of security vendor McAfee.

"The Federal Trade Commission has concluded its review of the proposed McAfee transaction and has cleared it," Intel vice president for investor relations Kevin Sellers said in a statement. "We are continuing to work with the staff at the European Commission as they continue their review."

Intel could face a tougher road to ratification in Europe, where the European Commission reportedly has concerns about the deal and is looking into launching an antitrust investigation to further examine its implications.

The European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, is reportedly concerned with Intel's public plans to incorporate security features into its microprocessor chips, as well as the possibility that Intel will use McAfee's technology to determine which applications are allowed to run on its microprocessors, or unfairly favor McAfee over competing security vendors.

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Intel in August announced its plans to purchase McAfee, the world's second largest security vendor. Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini last month pledged not to change McAfee's business model, sales practices, terms and conditions, products, or branding.

Concerned as to what impact the Intel acquisition would have on the future of McAfee's SMB security products, McAfee partners supported Intel's decision to keep McAfee as a separate security division.

Once the acquisition closes, McAfee will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel, under Intel's software and services group. Renee James, senior vice president and general manager of Intel 's software and services group, has said she expects an Intel-McAfee product to go to market sometime next year.

The EU has been keeping close watch on Intel, and last year, the EU officials levied a record $1.45 billion fine against Intel for undermining competition by excluding rival AMD from markets.