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EU extends deadline for Intel's McAfee deal

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 7:05am
The Associated Press

Intel Corp. and security specialist McAfee Inc. have given commitments to help get European Union approval for the U.S. chipmaker's $7.68 billion takeover, European regulators said Thursday.

The European Commission, the EU's antitrust watchdog, said that it has extended its deadline for reviewing the deal until Jan. 26 from Jan. 12.

Intel and the Commission declined to comment on the content of the commitments that were made. Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said the company "will work with the Commission to address the questions and get the deal done before the second half of the year."

Companies can offer remedies, such as certain asset sales or other commitments, to address potential competition concerns on a deal. The extension of the deadline does not necessarily mean that regulators will indeed require remedies for the takeover to go ahead.

Intel, the world's biggest maker of microprocessor chips, has said that the deal will allow it to sell security software alongside a raft of new chips it's planning for a variety of devices, from computers, to cell phones to cars.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month, citing unnamed sources, that EU regulators were concerned that by incorporating McAfee's security features into its chips, Intel would make it difficult for other security providers to compete. Intel's chips are currently used in about 80 percent of the world's computers and servers.

The deal, announced in August, would be the biggest acquisition in Intel's history and has already been approved by U.S. regulators. Intel's shares dropped 1.3 percent in morning trading on the Nasdaq.

(This version CORRECTS Corrects Intel's corporate designation. Adds Intel statement, detail.)

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