Intel to buy McAfee for $7.68 billion

I must say I had to do a double-take on this one. Earlier today, Intel announced it has entered a "definitive agreement" to purchase McAfee for $7.68 billion in cash. That’s McAfee, purportedly the world’s largest dedicated security technology firm, and known far and wide for its antivirus software—mostly because it gets peddled on a frightening number of pre-built PCs.

The deal already has unanimous approval from the Intel and McAfee boards; at this point, the two firms are waiting to get the nod from shareholders and regulatory entities. Once the acquisition goes through, McAfee will become a wholly owned Intel subsidiary, and it will report to Intel’s Software and Services Group.

Intel’s announcement provides some clues—vague as they might be—about the underlying thinking behind the deal. The chipmaker says it has "elevated the priority of security to be on par with its strategic focus areas in energy-efficient performance and Internet connectivity," and it intends to work with McAfee to "explore future product concepts to further strengthen security in the cloud network and myriad of computers and devices people use in their everyday lives." Intel’s Renee James, who heads the Software and Services Group, also talks about "hardware-enhanced security."

Intel and McAfee have already joined forces to produce one of the most awkward merger announcement videos I’ve seen to date. Let’s hope for a less cringe-inducing collaboration from here on out.

Comments closed
    • HisDivineShadow
    • 9 years ago

    Just seems like a big waste of money. Intel should have bought a video card company or bought VIA to prevent nVidia from doing so. Even if the sale were ultimately blocked, Intel would tie VIA up for years and nVidia will go bankrupt long before it was resolved.

    Then Intel could buy the patents, branding, advertising, and poach key employees from the Green Team to build a new Intel video card: The Intel i9Force BX6 1gb. SLI will assimilated as an Intel Inside-only technology. CUDA will be retired. PhysX will be merged with Havock and optimized for CPU and GPU use. In time, I imagine we’ll all forget there ever was an nvidia and eventually we’ll have MX-class video cards built into every CPU with only incompatible ATI cards as alternatives.

    When someone complains, Intel executives will assure us that they provide us all the performance we’ll ever need from our CPU/GPU combos, each starting at $1k and up.

    Seems like this would be a lot better than buying a bloatware manufacturer (or plainly buying into paid security software at all) at such a large amount. They clearly got ripped off.

    • albundy
    • 9 years ago

    I just don’t get it. Why is Michael Moore involved with McAfee?!!

    On the other hand, “merger” is a nice and polite name of someone buying and owning your @ss.

    • HighTech4US
    • 9 years ago

    Intel probably just flushed $7B.

    When SUN spent a few billion buying up a Tape Backup company I thought I had seen the stupidest acquisition ever.

    Nope not even close – this one takes the cake in stupidity.

    Years later SUN had those invested billions flushed down the commode as there was no value left from acquisition. Thus SUN no longer exists as it was bought out by Oracle because of such stupid decisions.

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      Intel doesn’t flush $7B. They have a plan… I just don’t know what it is.

      This is even more messed up than AMD going deep in red to buy ATI.

    • travbrad
    • 9 years ago

    About 80% of the time someone calls me about their PC being extremely slow, it’s running McAfee. I think in a lot of cases, you’d be better off with an actual virus. It’s unfortunate that so many people’s experience of computers is bogged down by terrible bloated programs like this.

    It DOES get people to buy new PCs though, because their old one is “too slow”. I guess Intel wouldn’t be opposed to that..

    Perhaps a compelling reason to buy AMD in the future?

    • Duck
    • 9 years ago

    That video is awful! “Intel is just fabulous…” LOL

    • no51
    • 9 years ago

    in other news, sales of yachts and boats see a spike for reasons unknown.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 9 years ago

    I see this being integrated into their SSD’s potentially.

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 9 years ago

    The McAfee guy just goes on and on making up things since the only reason they merged was buckets of cash. I guess saying “Well it’s a huge fucking payday isn’t it?” is a little too real for corporate speak.

    And it looks like she wants to mate then consume the poor guy. If intel uses McAfee shouldn’t that preclude anyone from taking them seriously on anything regarding security?

    • TaBoVilla
    • 9 years ago

    Intel must have way too much cash to be doing this

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 9 years ago

      +1 I lol’ed.

    • TaBoVilla
    • 9 years ago

    lol double post

    • The Egg
    • 9 years ago

    This is a scary thought. It seems they already try to sneak McAffee/Symantec garbage onto our machines with just about any 3rd party software installation. Now we’ve got to worry about how Intel is going to shove it down our throats.

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      Heh, they could put it inside the CPU..
      Or the compiler. Maybe they’ll use the optimized antivirus code only for Intel CPUs…?

    • gtoulouzas
    • 9 years ago

    If I’m not mistaken, they already have a majority stake in Grisoft software, the makers of the free AVG antivirus. Why they needed to buy the makers of one of the worst commercial antivirii on top of that is beyond me…

    • Sargent Duck
    • 9 years ago

    I’m still holding out hope that Intel bought McAfee so they could dissolve the company and rid the world of this terrible product.

    Here’s hoping.

      • cfroese
      • 9 years ago

      We can only hope that Intel is so altruistic.

        • NeelyCam
        • 9 years ago

        Someone mentioned that they got burned with that antivirus definition mess a few months back…

        Maybe Paul Otellini’s laptop also froze, and he wanted to fire whoever was responsible…

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 9 years ago

    Intel CPUs with integrated McAfee Virus: IMMINENT

    I guess CPUs are getting so fast that they had to find a new way to bog it down and act like it’s useful.

      • cmoorepc
      • 9 years ago

      Just wait until we have Intel CPUs with embedded McAfee Security…2012 is starting to sound real.

    • Jigar
    • 9 years ago

    I would have been happy if they would have bought Nvidia.

    • xtremevarun
    • 9 years ago

    Intel has WAYYYYY too much money.
    Definitely looks like Intel’s gonna try out a hardware based security solution…

      • bcronce
      • 9 years ago

      too much money? It costs 6-10 billion just to make a new fab plant which they do every, what, 5 years?

      For a company that owns and runs chip plants, that’s just normal business.

        • SomeOtherGeek
        • 9 years ago

        For that matter, they should have bought out TSMC instead…

          • jdaven
          • 9 years ago

          I think TSMC owns somewhere around 3-5 fabs. So that won’t work.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 9 years ago

            I have to think the FTC wouldn’t look to kindly on that merger either.

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          Could’ve bought NVidia… Market cap <6bil…

      • Deanjo
      • 9 years ago

      Yup, this is exactly where this is headed. I can see them coming out with a Larabee based AV solution much like Kapersky did with nVidia.

      §[< http://www.geek.com/articles/news/kapersky-labs-releases-gpu-anti-virus-that-runs-360x-faster-than-on-core-2-duo-cpu-20091215/<]§

    • Bauxite
    • 9 years ago

    WTF?

    Anyone worth their salt in security has known that all the conventional AV has been failing badly and been on its way out for awhile. Sure they make money now, but the writing on the wall is it doesn’t work: <50% on new threats and falling fast. Not the kind of curve to be investing in.

    Waiting for a bunch of people to get owned (and know about it) so you can do glorified md5 hash searches on disk and ram is a doomed model. The heuristic stuff they put out is barely effective at all.

      • SHOES
      • 9 years ago

      I couldnt agree more I simply fail to understand how mcafee could be worth that much(all things considered).

      • bcronce
      • 9 years ago

      I’ve heard good things about Vipre. Several reviews show ~80% detection based on libraries and 100% detection based on heuristics. Heuristics based detection meant that even unknown virus/malware was cought.

      Since the program runs all unknown programs in a transparent virtual machine, if the heuristics flags it, it immediately shuts down the VM and rolls-back the changes. From what I hear, this VM is very stripped down and you can’t even tell Vipre is running.

      This is all based on several reviews, not personal experience. I plan on buying the family pack for ~$40

        • Bauxite
        • 9 years ago

        By “reviews” you must mean glorified ads or something.

        No AV has broken 50% on a decent test this year.

        (e.g. scraped/live malware from the same month)

        • MadManOriginal
        • 9 years ago

        If you’re running Windows you need look no further than MSE and make sure any stupid people on the PC have no admin rights.

    • tviceman
    • 9 years ago

    I do not understand why Intel does not attempt a hostile takeover of Nvidia (not that I necessarily want this). They can’t make their own competitive GPU, they have the cash, and the longer they go without a discrete GPU, the better differentiation (and products) AMD will be able to deliver at similar price points over Intel.

      • jdaven
      • 9 years ago

      Given Intel’s anticompetitive behavior towards Nvidia and their products, I’m 100% certain a hostile takeover will not be approved by federal regulators.

    • Voldenuit
    • 9 years ago

    If the honeymoon turns sour, I hope they used protection.

      • 5150
      • 9 years ago

      McAfee sure as hell isn’t any good for bringing protection.

      • Auril4
      • 9 years ago

      McAfee will now need to change so that it can conduct business in a more unethical manner to please Intel.

    • mcnabney
    • 9 years ago

    They are doing this to help cripple the ARM-dominated mobile processor business.

    Once McAfee is loaded onto an Android or RIM device the processor will be slowed to a crawl. That will require a shift to much more powerfull processors – which Intel does offer. This is just Intel trying to recreate the crippling effect of bloated and inefficient software on the PC. I imagine those upcoming dual-core ARM processors won’t even be able to play a video once AV software has dug into the OS.

    • ModernPrimitive
    • 9 years ago

    If Intel’s cpu’s get as bloated as McAfee I’ll have to buy one of those Dark Fl33t cases for just the processor.

    • indeego
    • 9 years ago

    This is amusing because Intel in Oregon (and presumably country-wide) had hundreds of employees out of work for 5+ hours during the McAffee definition update fiasco a few months backg{<.<}g

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      Well… they don’t have to pay for those licenses anymore.

    • wira020
    • 9 years ago

    This is shocking.. very!… First of all, I’m super shocked that Intel bought an antivirus company.. Who pays for antivirus nowadays?.. I mean other than business.. 2nd, McAffee worths over $7 billion?.. I’d probably believe 7million.. did you double check the source, Cyril? Or maybe a typo?

      • continuum
      • 9 years ago

      hahaa.. seriously… $7bil??? As Network Associates (McAfee and Network General), after that split and whatnot, Network General ended up sold to Netscout for what, $200mil?

      McAfee is still work $7 billion?? For.. uh… wow…

        • ludi
        • 9 years ago

        They might be overpaying, but since McAfee has a market capitalization in excess of $4 billion, a number like your $200 million example isn’t even in the ballpark.

          • continuum
          • 9 years ago

          That’s my point exactly… the Network General side of McAfee raked in the cash 10 years ago while McAfee spent all their money on litigation, then mismanagement caused that side of the company to tank down to a pathetic $200mil.

          Clearly the litigation must have paid off much more handsomely than actual product development. 😉

      • Duck
      • 9 years ago

      Just what I was thinking. McAfee products are worthless to me. The value must come from quantity due to the sheer number of computers that must be running it rather than any quality or useful software or valuable IP.

    • R2P2
    • 9 years ago

    So, is Intel going to help McAfee optimize their software, or make it even slower to try to create demand for processors?

    My work laptop grinds to a halt at 8am every morning, because that’s when IT has McAfee’s daily scan scheduled for.

      • shank15217
      • 9 years ago

      I would think you would blame your IT, not McAfee

    • Mentawl
    • 9 years ago

    Wow, I won’t even pay £25 for McAfee for a PC, and Intel’ll pay $7.68billion? Whuff.

    • joselillo_25
    • 9 years ago

    I think they are going to blunde to the PC makers the CPU+Chipset+GPU+SSD + McAfee security crap.

    It´s going to be a nightmare.

      • wira020
      • 9 years ago

      Yes, blunding is a good strategy nowadays…

        • paulWTAMU
        • 9 years ago

        as a portmanteu of blunder+bundle, I like it! Appropriate for this I think.
        but maybe I just hate McAffe

          • dpaus
          • 9 years ago

          Oh, I thought is was a portmanteau of “bundle” and “bludgeon” which is even more appropriate…

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