The all-cash deal makes Intel a security industry powerhouse, giving it a broad range of consumer and enterprise security products. Though the acquisition has left some observers scratching their heads, Intel says it needs the McAfee technology to help it bake security into its microprocessors and chipsets — especially as Intel looks to become more competitive in smartphones and other portable devices.
“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 announcing the acquisition’s close. “With the surge in cyber threats, providing protection to a diverse online world requires a fundamentally new approach involving software, hardware and services.”
Intel had been working to get the deal approved by U.S. and European Union regulators since it was announced last August. The European Commission, in particular, had expressed concerns that Intel would give McAfee special treatment when it came to its processors and chipsets, locking other security vendors out of the technology. Those concerns had reportedly been threatening to hold up the deal, but late last month the European Commission announced that Intel had assuaged its concerns.
Although McAfee’s technology can now be integrated into a wide range of Intel products, McAfee itself will be run as a subsidiary, operated out of Intel’s Software and Services Group. That group is run by Renée James, who will now be the boss of McAfee chief Dave DeWalt.
McAfee is the world’s second-largest security software company after Symantec.