back to article Intel snaps up McAfee in $7.68bn deal

Intel has bought information security specialist McAfee in a surprise deal valued at $7.68bn. The chip maker has offered $48 a share in cash for the anti-virus firm, a 62 per cent premium of McAfee's Wednesday closing price of $29.93 a share. Shares in McAfee leapt 58 per cent on the news while Intel's stock dipped. Both …


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  1. Bibbleq



    This is all that is required here

    1. Anonymous Coward

      wtf indeed

      agree completely . . . . what would they want with a virus making company, unless their chips are too fast and they need some bloated software to peg the performance back.

      Disclaimer, due to company policy I was required to install McAfee on a macbook pro, never have I seen so many issues/errors from a single piece of software. Now if only i could never connect to the company wan, then I'd never need to install it . . .

      Nothing left to do, might as well grab a pint in.

      1. gnufreex

        I can join my WTF

        I am thinking out loud: Maybe the want to hardcode AV features into chips? That is only thing that crosses my mind... besides WTF, that is.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Well, in the tech industry the rumor all summer has been that McAfee was being sold to HP and it was all but a done deal to close in late July.

      How Intel of all people ended up involved, I have no idea.

      Nope, I sat here and thought about it... still no idea how McAfee could be a strategic fit for Intel. Maybe Intel was just bored? I can't see them trying to get into software... They'd piss off Microsoft, Oracle, VMWare, Symantec... Not that it would matter because HP IBM Lenovo Acer and Asus still need Intel chips and would never part ways with Intel, Oracle, VMWare, Symantec or Microsoft.

      So I agree. wtf.

      1. Bounty


        "I can't see them trying to get into software... They'd piss off Microsoft, Oracle, VMWare, Symantec... "

        Hey didn't Microsoft just sign an ARM license deal? Maybe Intel is getting into software. Just enough to spook MS. Buying Novell would have been too obvious.

    3. MinionZero

      WTF was my first thoughts as well, but...

      I think Intel are setting up to play a massive marketing mind game targeted at non-technical people (like corporate computer buyers). Give me a minute to explain...

      Intel are saying this McAfee deal allows them to integrate security into their processor. (Yes Intel bullshit I know, but hang in there) ... So anyway once Intel do add these "security features" (which are likely to be just some kind of Intel only instructions that only Intel processors can legally (patent pending) deal with), then what next for Intel? ... well the next chess move is to then say to non-technical customers, hey look everyone, ONLY INTEL processors are truly secure, as they have security built in, see look Intel only.

      Its another game of lock-in, this time pushing a security feature as the reason for the lock in. AMD & VIA won't have it and ARM won't have it, only Intel truly have the Intel(tm) security feature (patent pending) and so if you (if you are a non-technical customer) so if you are fearful of your security (be afraid, fear, fear, fear stories to help it sell) then you really need to buy only a safe Intel only product ... and sure enough the non-technical customers will on mass chant Intel, Intel, Intel all the way to the shops, as they buy their Intel only machines (like many of them do now). At least that's what Intel are hoping. One hell of a big gamble, but then Intel do really have their back against the wall long term (*).

      Intel will still earn lots of money out of McAfee products as it is, and then they get to play this Intel lock in chess move game later on. Its another game of lock in. (I bet this is the new Intel business game plan after the FTC vs Intel lawsuit settlement).

      ((*) - Intel have their *long term* back against the wall, because the bloated Intel processor design is both their biggest asset and their biggest obstacle to move forward in the future. They have to be x86 compatible, as they have beaten that marketing drum for decades. Meanwhile they are loosing ground in all low powered processing applications with ARM powering ahead. e.g. "ARM licensed about 1.6 billion cores in 2005. In 2005, about 1 billion ARM cores went into mobile phones.[7] As of January 2008[update], over 10 billion ARM cores have been built, and iSuppli predicts that 5 billion a year will ship in 2011.[8]" ... No way in Hell can Intel keep up at all with this massive growth. ARM are powering ahead in many mobile computing applications (not just phones) and so Intel are under long term threat from it all. This McAfee chess move is another attempt to prop up the Intel brand of lock in sales pitches. You have to buy Intel and only Intel to save yourself from the fear of incompatibility and now with McAfee it also saves you from the fear of loss of security. (Yeah right, Intel, and pigs can fly).

      In short, the Intel McAfee deal is based on a Defensive marketing warfare strategy, i.e.

      Its all marketing bullshit, smoke and mirrors, but to the non-technical people (like corporate computer buyers) they won't know that. They are being sold security. Safe in the Intel brand. :(

      Grenade icon, thrown at their marketing strategy, because I hate these Machiavellian two faced mind games just to sell stuff.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Ugh ?

    What on earth does Intel want with a second rate security provider ?

    If I was a shareholder I would think this is a waste of money, surely if they had spare cash Novel or Red Hat would be good buy.

    Even financial expert Paris is confused by this one.

  3. Danny 14


    its a debt cow to palm off tax losses. Just like the glaziers and Man u.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If you can grow a company to a value of $7.68bn with a product nobody actually wants, but might find themselves missold by salesmen, or naively and accidentally have some free version installed when you are just trying to update something else, then I am in the wrong job.

  5. The_Police!


    What the? *headdesk*

  6. Jayce and the Wheeled Chairs


    Does this mean that Intel Processor's will start to come with embedded virus?

  7. Thomas 4

    Two questions

    First of all, why?

    Secondly, seriously, why?

    What does Intel (mainly a hardware manufacturer) have to gain by acquiring a system resource hogging piece of junk AV like McAfee? Not to say that Norton or Symantec are any better.

    1. Munchausen's proxy
      Black Helicopters

      I hope it isn't this simple

      1. Promote and push the hell out of the resource hogging piece of junk.

      2. Upsell your customers on newer chipsets and processors so your computers don't slow down much from running the crap.

      3. Profit.

      After all, Microsoft finally, after however many years, seem to have gone in the 'wrong' direction with the move from Vista to 7; maybe Intel feel it's time to start taking matters into their own hands.

    2. Reality Dysfunction

      I cant disagree with system resource hogging comment...

      but come on... Symantec ( the general software company) bought out Norton ( the security/tools software company in 1990 and sold the AV under that badge. Its the same company they just badge consumer and corporate products under different names. Unlike Mcafee who sell different products to consumers and corporates under the same name just be make things even more difficult with support.

      Mcafee dont just sell AV anyway they have a big presence in remediation management and network security using black boxes and seem to be drifting this way more and more over the last few years aquisitions.

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      re: Two questions

      Simple really.

      AV crapware is a notorious CPU HOG. Code the AV crap you own to run faster than the competition.

      End result, more market share.

      Then comes the lawsuits. We have been down this road before. Remember 'It ain;t done until Lotus won't run'?

      Solve that by building some patented (and expensive to license) CPU trickery into the CPU's that only your AV software can use.(how about an extra core that only gets switched on by the AV software and runs only in that core).

      The Intal can say "It's my patent and you can cry if you want to" (sorry I couldn't resist that one)

      And as it is in HW and reverses of SW patents (eg Biliski part 2) won't apply.


      Ok, I'm outta here. It is time for the pub anyway.

  8. Dave Murray
    Thumb Down


    "McAfee is a solid but unspectacular second behind Symantec in the security software market."

    They may be top on sales but they're both well down the order when it comes to chosing a decent a-v product. Bloated, poor detection rates, high false positive rates, the list of reasons not to chose Symantec or McAfee is huge.

    If they really wanted into the a-v business then Intel should have bought Avast, Eset, Kaspersky or Sophos.

    1. Vanburen


      To be fair it seems Norton is at least getting better:

      McAfee still sucks though

  9. Fluffykins Silver badge

    Well, maybe

    It'll mean MaCrappy gets some serious development to stop it being a resource hungry, intrusive pile of crud which I'm stuck with in this corporate poxy machine. I've got a 286 which could be switched off and still run Vista faster than this box.

  10. Richard Wharram

    Mad !

    McAfee software is dogsh*t. It makes my work desktop unusable most mornings. It's trashed a number of our servers and other companies servers with false positives more than once. Also they made $178m but are worth over 7 BILLION ???

    Kaspersky maybe. McAfee... *coffeechoke*

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I think your numbers may be a little off... They're number 2 in America to Symantec, but the data I'm seeing says they're the largest on the world scale.

      Their worldwide revenue was $2B last year with a 80% gross profit margin. $7.7B isn't bad for those stats. I don't know anyone who uses their software though...

  11. Skyraker

    Wish i'd had a heads up on this

    Shares went up 58% when this broke.

    Agree with everyone else though... WTF?

  12. Fubar75


    So that means what....?

    Intel McAfee P5

    Intel McAfee P6

    Intel McAfee Dual Core

    Intel McAfee Core 2 Duo

    Intel McAfee Atom


    Never liked and will never install McAfee, EVER!

    A piece of ....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Congrats to the McAfee board of directors

    For succeeding in offloading a pile of shit to Intel for $7+bn. McAfee shareholders must be clinking their champagne glasses in relief.

    Intel may well end up looking like RBS when they swallowed up ABN-Amro wiithout proper due diligence, in which case, it's goodbye as there won't be any government bail-outs to keep them afloat.

  14. xj25vm


    Can't help but join the chorus: WTF? Intel is mainly a hardware company (if you exclude various bits of drivers they develop). What do they have to do with a security software company? Do their *chips* require antivirus protection? Their chips run all sorts of different software on all sort of different OS's - what does that have to do with McAfee? Will they bribe now OEM's not only to use their chips, but their antivirus as well (see Dell case)? Does anybody at Intel understand how computers work?

    I would have thought that buying a complementary hardware business (like Nvidia, to compete directly with AMD+ATI) would have made more sense. Or even some OS company - be it RedHat, Suse, Ubuntu, or anything else. Then they could have sold preloaded servers, with everything built and loaded in house.

    Oh well, I must be missing the point here.

  15. Peter Thomas 2

    Your system...

    "McAfee has detected your system is running a non-Intel processor. Your system will now shut down."

    1. Homard


      Your processor will be deleted by a sledgehammer.

      OK - that would cause a shutdown !

      Hmm what if you happily run a non m$ O/S on intel kit ? I mean the trustworthy Penguin ?

      Dear user you are using an ext3 filesytem that is not windo$e shitware. Your system will be migrated to the null device (w7) to ensure you cannot make the most of it, by using it. The fact that you might own the system has never been considered.

      Not sure I like this. For a start who is in bed with who ? And what if you want to do your own thing ? More proprietry lockdown bad news.

      I've had good experience with intel hardware. Just don't understand how this is 'intel'igent.

      Oh shit I don't know, but I am worried. WTF indeed.

  16. Robert Ramsay


    Maybe they are going to do the decent thing and bury it in a deep dark hole.

    "And this is for making all our processors look shit!" *smack*

  17. Storm Cloud


    They could have bought Nvidia and developed their own rival to AMD's Fusion for less than that. If RW's profit figure of $178m is right, even if they can increase that to $250m, that's still 30 years before they get their investment back.

    Was there a special offer on frontal lobotomies at Intel HQ recently?

  18. Rombizio


    McAfee for security???? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.....Next batch of Intel processors will come with viruses and malware already hardcoded in them.

  19. JWS

    Kill it

    The only way Intel can look good in my view here is if they now shut down McAfee and fire everyone involved, it's a terrible company with a terrible product offering.

  20. Neill Mitchell


    That's one dollar for every swear word ever uttered about the damned irritating resource hogging product.

  21. Nigel 11

    W ... T ... F?

    Intel has shown no other signs of becoming a stupid company. So there most be *something* in this deal that makes sense. What that might be I haven't a clue.

    OTOH if Intel really is succumbing to corporate senility, it may be time to buy some AMD stock!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is some synergy I suppose....

    It means that they can build motherboards with Virus scanners onboard to counteract Dell's amazingly high build quality (cough cough)

  23. Duncan Hothersall

    I think it's nothing more than a VC gobble

    Intel has more than $25 billion in cash/equivalents on its balance sheet, most of it built up fairly recently. Perhaps it was just another investment in a company for which they see big profits in the future, and they took the opportunity to gobble the whole thing up and talk up the synergy. However shit the products might be, AV is going to continue to be big business.

  24. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Internet-ready devices with Windows?

    "Today's security approach does not fully address the billions of new Internet-ready devices connecting, including mobile and wireless devices, TVs, cars, medical devices and ATM machines as well as the accompanying surge in cyber threats"

    Well, hopefully, most of the billions of new Internet-ready devices won't be running Windows. I know people will now kick in and defend it, but Microsoft has simply had more than it's fair share of security problems, and Windows is particularly hard to strip down for embedded use compared to most systems. TVs, cars, medical devices, and ATMs in particular, should really not be running enough software to be susceptible to some general-purpose exploit (Windows or not -- although, I know the Windows-based ATMs in the past were NOT properly stripped down and DID get viruses.) McAfee doesn't make anything useful except for Windows.

    "I think your numbers may be a little off... They're number 2 in America to Symantec, but the data I'm seeing says they're the largest on the world scale."

    I don't think this was in terms of market share; it's just, for a long time, they have reportedly not had that good a security product.

  25. Evil Monkey
    Thumb Up

    Mcafee V Pro integration??

    It does makes sense actually, Years ago intel talked about having the ability to have your virus scanner outside of the OS on the motherboard, making it nearly impossible for malware to disable and difficult to circumvent. No one has developed the idea so Intel have probably decided to do it itself. Agreed Mcafee isn't the best choice, but if it works having your AV running at a higher level that your OS is a great idea and should make rootkits and the like harder to implement and easier to identify.

  26. Mage


    They paid $7.7 Billion for a brand name.

    There is zero McAfee product or IP that is anything that I would build into a chip. The whole concept of AV signature scanning is broken.

    Ok, if nothing changes, in 4 years they break even and 5th year and later $2Billion profit a year.

    Well they *DID* say they were expanding into services and software, to make chip making the minority sport. It's on their road map. I guess this is a "Service". Not one I'd ever buy.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    McAfee & Mickeysoft

    The world & dog are moving towards non-Intel chips and non-Mickeysoft operating systems. Why would Intel buy a company that provides dubious security protection for only Mickeysoft operating systems?


  28. JeffyPooh

    Maybe it's a good thing...

    We know that McAfee programmers are the 3rd worst coders on the planet (Symantec and Facebook holding down 1st and 2nd place respectively). By comparison, Intel software (even the old IntelPlay software for gosh sakes...) isn't half bad. Almost always seems to work, with not too many bugs. So maybe the Intel coders could explain to How To Code 101 to the McAfee nitwits and that would Make The World A Better Place (TM). I'm just saying...

  29. Ian Neal

    Previous McAfee acquisitions

    Perhaps Intel are after some of McAfee's previous acquisitions (for example Secure Computing) rather than the virus scanning side of things?

  30. Anonymous Coward


    How much did Sun go for again? There were plenty of interesting toys to play with in that acquisition (which Larry will now quite happily put in a landfill, but that's another story), but the question now is surely this: in which way did McAfee have Intel by the balls, and how hard (other than a vague "a lot") were they squeezing?

  31. enerider

    Perhaps this has something to do...

    with this?

    Just a passing thought...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Could it be for the distribution channels? Like it or not McAfee is already installed on a large number of PCs, both corporate and consumer. Their software gets updated frequently and people generally trust it (spare me the flames).

    If Intel were looking to push in a bunch of other software, piggy-backing on McAfee would be one way to go.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    "no other signs of becoming a stupid company." ???

    Nigel 11 wrote "Intel has shown no other signs of becoming a stupid company." Say what? Recent globally visible failures include WiMax and Itanic. They also sold out their interest in the ARM market! Go back a bit further and there's a myriad failed attempts at graphics, there's I2O, there's i860 and iAPX432. Intel struck very very very lucky when Windows and x86 (and MS top guys and Intel top guys) hit it off so well together.

    What, other than getting out a clone of AMD64 in double-quick time once it was obvious that IA64 was never going to come anywhere near Intel's stated "industry standard 64bit" goal, have Intel done at any time in the last couple of decades that has actually been successful based on their own work? Dodgy deals with PC builders and PC retailers to ensure AMD don't get a fair crack of the whip may have worked well for Intel but aren't eligible answers to this question.

    In amongst a great deal of sense, MinionZero wrote "the bloated Intel processor design is ... their biggest asset". Based on the above, I disagree slightly. It is Intel's *only* recognised asset. WindRiver for the VxWorks embedded OS and toolset, and Virtutech for chip/system simulator Simics don't count yet as no one really knows why Intel bought them either, apart from "because they could".

    Does that leave anything else inside Intel actually worth anything, assuming a fully trained and experienced set of enforcement teams for alleged commercial blackmail isn't a legally saleable asset? I guess they've got a set of fabs that seem to be profitable, they must be worth something for a couple more years?

    As for those under the impression that virus scanning is a CPU-bound activity: are you sure? The scan as you open a file might be briefly CPU bound but the one that really hurts user-perceived performance is the full system scan and regardless of AV vendor such scans are almost certainly limited by disk performance not CPU performance, and you can chuck as many cores as you want at it and it don't get any faster.

    Whilst I like in principle the idea of a proper company buying sUsE, I'm not sure Intel's the suitor for SuSe.

    1. LaeMing

      Very very lucky

      "Intel struck very very very lucky when Windows and x86 (and MS top guys and Intel top guys) hit it off so well together."

      Very very lucky considering the IBM engineers that designed the "PC" wanted to use the far superior 68000 but were over-ridden by management because the electric typewriter division already had a re-usable licence for 8086.

  34. 1990 nerd

    intel cpu

    sorry you are not running a McAfee security product your Intel quad MAF security pro CPU will now only run on 3 cores. And sorry we dont support Linux only windows based OS

  35. GlobeTrot
    IT Angle

    Massive win for MFE, long term gamble for Intel

    Clearly - based on the stock price movement - this is a massive win for MFE's directors and investors. Hurrah to them!

    For Intel - they've completely missed the "software/ services" bus, the virtualization train, the cloud ship etc., while other hardware manufacturers like say IBM, HP etc. have been branching out pretty aggressively. Could this be Intel's reply - synergies between chipzilla and security be damned (and great if something actually occurs)?

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