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).
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.