In a short space of time, both the Australian and European market watchdogs have given the green light for the acquisition of chip manufacturer Gemalto by Thales. There are, however, a number of conditions attached to this. The chance that the companies will actually merge is high by now.

Press agency Reuters reports the consent in two separate messages. The European market watchdog first gave permission for the 4.8 billion euro acquisition. In return, Thales must sell the division that produces the popular nShield security modules. The Australian market watchdog goes along with this and now also gives permission.

Approval of merger

Thales is the largest defence electronics manufacturer in the European Union. The largest shareholder of the company is the French government. The intention is to acquire a larger share in the growing security services market, which includes encryption and biometric passports.

The European Commission stated that the sale of nShield would remove some competition concerns. This technology generates keys, encrypts data and then decodes it again. Today, the Australian market watchdog is also coming up with the decision to agree to this.

The companies had previously received permission from various other governments to merge. Canada, China, Israel and Turkey gave the green light, as did the United States. We are still waiting for the last few countries that have yet to give their consent, which it is hoped will be available by the end of this year.

The European Commission’s approval now follows an in-depth investigation of the acquisition. The Commission was concerned that the merger would lead to higher prices for various products, but would also harm choice and innovation in this area. These concerns therefore appear to have been taken away by the companies.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.