European regulators may investigate Intel's McAfee acquisition following anti-competition concerns.
The European Union has expressed concerns about Intel's plans to embed security features directly into its microprocessors following its $7.7bn acquisition of McAfee earlier this year, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
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The move could put other security suppliers at an unfair disadvantage, as Intel supplies the majority of the world's PC chips, reported the WSJ.
A possible investigation could delay the deal. Initially, Intel said it expected to close the deal in the first quarter of next year, or even by the end of 2010. However, a statement on its website said it now hopes to close the deal in the first half of 2011.
In May 2009, the European Commission fined Intel $1.45bn for violating antitrust legislation, after complaints from Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices led to an investigation. Intel appealed the findings.
Both Intel and McAfee declined to comment. However, a McAfee spokesman said there was no reference to concerns at the EU in an update on its site regarding the merger on Thursday, reported the WSJ.