U.K. regulator to refer Broadcom deal for VMWare for further review

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it will refer the acquisition of VMware by Broadcom for further review. This comes as no surprise to industry experts who have long anticipated that the acquisition would face scrutiny from regulators. The regulator has stated that Broadcom did not offer any undertakings to address its antitrust concerns, which is why it has initiated a phase 2 investigation.

The acquisition of VMware by Broadcom has been in the works for some time. The deal was announced in early 2022, and since then, the two companies have been working towards finalizing the merger. The deal is valued at $157.42, with Broadcom offering VMware shareholders either cash or shares in exchange for their shares.

However, the deal has come under scrutiny from regulators in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Europe. The concerns raised by these regulators have centered on Broadcom’s dominance in the marketplace and the potential impact that the acquisition could have on competition.

The CMA has stated that the acquisition of VMware by Broadcom could lead to a reduction in competition in the marketplace, which could result in higher prices for consumers and businesses. It has also raised concerns about the impact that the acquisition could have on innovation, as Broadcom may have less incentive to invest in research and development if it dominates the marketplace.

The phase 2 investigation conducted by the CMA will be much more extensive than the initial review. During this phase, the regulator will examine the potential impact of the merger on competition in the marketplace. It will also gather evidence from both companies, competitors, and other stakeholders to inform its decision-making process.

The investigation is expected to take several months, during which time the deal will be on hold. During this period, both companies will continue to operate independently. However, both companies have expressed a desire to close the deal as soon as possible, and the delay caused by the investigation could be detrimental to their plans.

Broadcom is no stranger to regulatory scrutiny. The company has faced antitrust investigations in the past and has been fined by regulatory bodies. The company has also been accused of engaging in anti-competitive behavior in the past, which has contributed to its reputation as a dominant player in the marketplace.

This acquisition comes at a time of increased regulatory focus on big tech companies. Regulators in Europe, the United States, and the United Kingdom are all looking to reign in the power of big tech companies, and this acquisition is just one example of their efforts.

The delay caused by the CMA’s investigation is likely to be a blow to Broadcom, which had hoped to close the deal quickly. However, it is also an opportunity for the company to address some of the regulatory concerns that have been raised. If Broadcom is able to offer undertakings that address the CMA’s antitrust concerns, the merger may be allowed to proceed.

In the meantime, both companies will need to continue to operate independently, which could have an impact on their operations. This delay will also have an impact on the employees of both companies, who will be uncertain about their futures until the investigation is complete.

In conclusion, the CMA’s decision to refer the acquisition of VMware by Broadcom for further review is not unexpected. The concerns that have been raised by regulators around the world are well-founded, and the phase 2 investigation will give the CMA the opportunity to examine these concerns in detail. Both companies will need to prepare for a prolonged delay, and the impact of this investigation on their operations will need to be carefully managed. The outcome of this investigation will be closely watched by industry experts, shareholders, and employees of both companies, and the decision of the CMA is sure to have far-reaching consequences.


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