US chipmaker Broadcom has secured approval from the European Union’s antitrust regulators on Wednesday for its proposed $61 billion acquisition of cloud computing firm VMware. The deal, which marks Broadcom’s largest-ever acquisition, will allow the chipmaker to diversify its portfolio and expand into the enterprise software market.
As part of the approval process, Broadcom has made commitments to address competition concerns, particularly regarding rival Marvell Technology. The commitments involve providing interoperability assurances related to Broadcom’s Fibre Channel Host-Bus Adapters (FC HBAs), which are storage adapters used in data centers. This move aims to foster a level playing field for Marvell and other competitors in the market.
The European Commission confirmed that Marvell and other rivals will have “guaranteed access to the interoperability Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), as well as to the materials, tools, and technical support necessary for the development and certification of third-party FC HBAs.” Additionally, these competitors will gain access to the source code for all of Broadcom’s current and future FC HBA drivers through an irrevocable open-source license.
Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief, highlighted that the commitments offered by Broadcom will enable Marvell, its main rival, to compete on an equal footing. The measures also aim to provide similar protections for potential future market entrants. The acquisition deal is still under scrutiny by the US Federal Trade Commission and the UK competition agency.
Broadcom expressed its progress with regulatory filings, citing legal merger clearance received in various countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, South Africa, and Taiwan. It also mentioned securing foreign investment control clearance in all necessary jurisdictions.
With the EU antitrust approval, Broadcom moves closer to completing its landmark acquisition of VMware. The strategic move into enterprise software positions the chipmaker for new growth opportunities and underscores its commitment to expanding its business offerings. As the deal undergoes further examination by regulatory bodies, industry observers will be keen to assess the implications of this significant merger in the technology landscape.