Broadcom’s proposed $61 billion VMware acquisition is under fresh scrutiny. People familiar with the matter told Reuters that EU antitrust watchdogs are gearing up to open a full-scale probe into the deal.
The proposed acquisition is the world’s second-largest this year. Broadcom wants to diversify its portfolio with enterprise software. The move coincides with regulators worldwide ramping up interest in big tech acquisitions.
Projections haven’t panned out
Broadcom has been betting on an early approval by citing competition from cloud providers like Google, Microsoft and Amazon, according to sources familiar with the matter. The company reportedly met with European Commission officials in a state-of-play meeting earlier this week.
Officials tend to communicate their concerns during such meetings. If companies can’t convince them that an acquisition has merit, a four-month-long investigation typically ensues. The European Commission, which is scheduled to finish its initial evaluation on December 20, declined to comment.
Broadcom said that it expects the timeline for the review process to be extended in other vital areas due to the size of the deal. The company was quick to add that it’s still confident the transaction will close within its fiscal 2023.
Beltug, the Belgian Association of CIO & Digital Technology Leaders, and its counterparts in France’s Cigref, CIO Platform Nederland and VOICE Germany have previously voiced concerns about the deal, which they fear could lead to drastic price increases and tougher business practices against customers.
They also warned that the costs and three to five year transition period required to move from VMware to a rival make the acquisition untenable for some customers.