The EU’s antitrust regulator could yet scupper the proposed $7.7bn takeover of security firm McAfee by chip giant Intel after having expressed concerns over the deal, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The concerns were expressed in a preliminary review of the deal which could cause delays to its completion, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.
The main point of contention appears to be Intel’s desire to give McAfee privileged access to its chip architecture, which would make it difficult for its rivals in the market to compete.
If any of the security functions Intel wants to build into its chips only work with McAfee products then that would be a major sticking point, the report continues.
The Commission also wants to know if Intel plans to use its chips to launch pop-ups promoting McAfee products, or ensure maximum chip performance is only possible with McAfee software.
According to the Journal, the European Commission has already sent off several questionnaires to various security companies that compete with McAfee, asking for their opinions.
Intel referred the paper to a previous statement on the deal.
"We believe the combination of Intel and McAfee will prove important in achieving breakthrough innovations in security and look forward to discussing in more detail our product plans and strategies after the transaction is closed," said Kevin Sellers, Intel vice president of investor relations, in the statement.
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