European Commission agrees to VMware acquisition by Broadcom

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The European Commission has given the green light to Broadcom’s acquisition of VMware. The company receives this permission on the condition that it fulfills its commitments and concessions. The deal is still under investigation by the United States and the United Kingdom.

Broadcom made several concessions to get the acquisition approved, writes the European Commission on Wednesday. The European Commission raised concerns that Broadcom may limit VMware’s compatibility with competitors’ products to make its own products more attractive. The company is making commitments to competitors like Marvell to address those concerns.

Among other things, the company promises that its Fiber Channel host bus adapters, used to connect storage to servers, will remain compatible with VMware virtualization software. Broadcom’s competitors are guaranteed access to the APIs and “the materials, tools and technical support” necessary to make such FC HBAs compatible with VMware.

The company also guarantees access to the source code of all FC HBAs that Broadcom offers now and in the future. This is done via an irrevocable open source license. The company further promises an organizational separation between Broadcom’s team working on FC HBAs and Broadcom’s third-party certification and technical support team.

These various commitments have allayed the EU’s concerns, the European Commission explains. The European Commission’s permission is given on the condition that the commitments, which apply for ten years, are respected. An independent supervisor will be appointed who will monitor compliance, under the supervision of the Commission.

Broadcom announced last year that it wanted to acquire VMware for $61 billion. This makes it the largest acquisition the company has made to date. The acquisition is currently under investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission and the UK Competition and Markets Authority.

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