Feeds

Cisco's $5bn telly encryption biz gobble wins EU blessing

NDS acquisition approved after competition probe

Boost IT visibility and business value

Networking giant Cisco's $5bn takeover of pay-TV software maker NDS was approved by Brussels' competition officials today.

The European Commission said its "investigation confirmed that the merged entity would continue to face competition from a number of strong competitors and that customers, namely pay-TV providers, would continue to have alternative suppliers in all markets concerned".

Staines-based NDS, which makes software to encrypt programmes and such like for broadcasters and cable companies, started life in Israel in 1988. It is 51 per cent-owned by the Permira private equity fund and 49 per cent-owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Antitrust officials said Cisco's proposed acquisition would not harm competition in the pay-TV technical services market. They examined the availability of hardware components, such as set-top boxes, and software components including piracy-tussling digital rights management and conditional access systems.

"There are only limited overlaps between the parties' activities in relation to each of these hardware and software products at the worldwide level and these overlaps are even smaller in the European Economic Area," the commission concluded.

It warned that "vertical and conglomerate relations" did exist between NDS's pay-TV software development and Cisco's set-top boxes, but the EC added:

[T]he commission's investigation confirmed that the merged entity would not have market power in the relevant markets and would therefore not have the ability nor the incentive to raise the costs for its competitors in set-top-box or pay-TV software or to exclude them through bundled offers of the different components of pay-TV technical services.

Cisco's planned merger of NDS, which counts Sky and Canal in Europe and Comcast in the US among its customers, would be the biggest acquisition the networking company has ever made. It previously coughed up $3bn for WebEx and a further $3bn for video-conferencing outfit Tandberg. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?