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March 29, 2010

Cisco gets EU, US DoJ approval to buy Tandberg

Firm agrees to divest TelePresence Interoperability Protocol to an independent industry body

By CBR Staff Writer

Cisco said that it has won clearance from the European Commission and the US Department of Justice (DoJ) for its proposed $3.4bn acquisition of Norwegian video-conferencing firm Tandberg.

However, the European Commission has approved the deal after Cisco made certain commitments and the US DoJ said that it will not challenge the proposed acquisition in light of the commitments it has made to the EC.

Joaquin Almunia, vice-president for competition at EU, said: The remedies package offered by Cisco is suitable to safeguard competition in the market for video communications where the merged entity will have a strong presence. I’m also satisfied with the overall review process that was carried out in close co-operation with the US Department of Justice.

Cisco said that it has made commitments to enhance interoperability between its multi-screen video conferencing products and competitive products.

Under its deal with EC, Cisco will hand over rights attached to its proprietary protocol TelePresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP) to an independent industry body, to ensure interoperability with its offerings and to allow other vendors to participate in the development and in the updates of such protocol.

Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of emerging technologies business group at Cisco, said: Cisco has always strongly believed that industry expansion and growth is best fostered through open standards and interoperability, and our commitments to the commission formalise our approach in this area.

“Our commitments will promote multi-vendor interoperability and contribute to the ubiquity of video communications, which will benefit customers, competitors and the industry as a whole.

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The transaction remains subject to ongoing regulatory review in Brazil, but Cisco said that the antitrust approvals from the EC and Justice Department represent the final regulatory approvals required before the transaction can close.

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