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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

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
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
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
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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.