Monday Intel announced the completion of its $7.68 billion acquisition of security software vendor McAfee Inc. The latter company will continue to develop and publish products under its own brand. However, the duo will reveal the byproduct of their financial marriage later this year with the intent of "tackling security and the pervasive nature of computing threats in an entirely new way."
"Intel and McAfee believe today's approach to security does not adequately address the billions of new Internet-ready devices, including PCs, mobile and wireless devices, TVs, cars, medical devices and ATM machines," Intel said Monday in a statement. "With the surge in cyber threats, providing protection to a diverse online world requires a fundamentally new approach involving software, hardware and services."
So what does this mean to consumers? Intel previously said that it needs the McAfee technology to provide baked-in security in its microprocessors and chipsets. This will be especially important as the company tackles the smartphone market and other portable (tablets, notebooks) devices.
With McAfee now serving as a wholly-owned subsidiary, the antivirus giant will now report to Intel's Software and Services Group managed by Renée James, Intel senior vice president and general manager. McAfee's president, Dave DeWalt, will report to James.
"Security challenges put the future potential of computing at risk," said James. "The acquisition of McAfee adds not only world-leading security products and technologies to Intel's computing portfolio, but also brings incredibly talented people focused on delivering products and services that help make connecting to the mobile Internet safer and more secure."
The deal, which was originally announced in August 2010, was nearly threatened by the European Commission. Concerns were expressed that Intel would give McAfee special treatment in regards to processors and chipsets, preventing other security vendors from providing antivirus solutions to consumers. However, the concerns were addressed by Intel last month and the acquisition proceeded as planned.
"The commitments submitted by Intel strike the right balance, as they allow preserving both competition and the beneficial effects of the merger. These changes will ensure that vigorous competition is maintained and that consumers get the best result in terms of price, choice and quality of the IT security products," said Commission Vice-President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia.