Broadcom wins United States antitrust consent to buy Brocade: FTC

04 Juillet, 2017, 16:20 | Author: Lucrece Courtet
  • Great_Wall_of_China

Broadcom's $5.9bn purchase of Brocade has been approved by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) so long as Broadcom's technology used in chips for fibre channel switches built for Cisco is walled off from its storage networking business. However, the semiconductor manufacturer needed to agree to certain terms, including establishing a firewall, to remedy the FTC's "anticompetitive" concerns around competitor Cisco, according to an FTC statement. The deal calls for Broadcom to subsequently sell Broadcom's Ethernet networking business for an expected $1-2 billion.

The FTC was concerned that Brocade possessing knowledge of these ASIC chips "could be used to restrain competition or slow innovation in the worldwide market for fibre channel switches". Brocade shares were up 5 cents to $12.66. According to the complaint, San Jose, California-based Broadcom makes the fibre channel application specific integrated circuits, or ASICs, that are custom-tailored to carry out the functions of each switch, according to FTC.

Brocade and Cisco are the only two competitors in worldwide fibre channel switches, and Broadcom supplies both companies with ASICs to make fibre channel switches.

The FTC extended its review of the acquisition with a second request for information in February.

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Broadcom has agreed to set up an internal firewall with the acquired activities from Brocade in order to ensure competition in the fibre channel switch market.

The proposed consent order prevents Broadcom from using Cisco's competitively sensitive confidential information for any goal other than the design, manufacturing and sale of fibre channel ASICs for Cisco.

Broadcom agreed that the business group which supplies Cisco would work from separate facilities and that a firewall would prevent the use of Cisco's information for any goal other than supplying Cisco, the FTC said.

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