UK monopoly watchdog gives Broadcom-VMware probe a tight timetable

Trending 4 months ago

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has elaborate its concerns astir Broadcom's acquisition of VMware, positive a roadmap that would time off astir 2 months to benignant retired immoderate regulatory objections to nan woody if Broadcom is to meet its self-imposed October 2023 deadline for nan deal.

The CMA connected Friday updated its investigation of nan woody pinch publication of an administrative timetable and an issues statement.

The timetable [PDF] calls for submissions by May 9, hearings successful early June, much hearings to talk immoderate remedies successful July and August, and transportation of a last study successful "late August."

Broadcom has fixed itself a deadline of October 31 to finalize nan deal. If nan CMA has large problems pinch nan deal, there's not overmuch clip betwixt precocious August and precocious October to benignant them retired – particularly if those problems stay aft nan talks from June to August.

At slightest nan talks will beryllium narrower than mightiness person been nan case. The CMA's first look astatine nan woody considered 3 "theories of harm" – namely:

  • Foreclosure of hardware competitors done leveraging VMware's position successful server virtualization software;
  • Non-horizontal effects from commercially delicate accusation sharing;
  • Foreclosure of server virtualization package competitors done leveraging Broadcom's position successful FC HBAs and retention adapters.

The Issues Statement [PDF] doesn't see nan third, and nan CMA removed information of SmartNICs from nan first.

But that still leaves plentifulness for nan CMA to consider, and it intends to activity grounds connected "whether degrading (or preventing) interoperability betwixt VMware server virtualization package and nan products supplied by Broadcom's hardware rivals would harm rivals' competitiveness owed to nan value of interoperability."

On nan mobility of commercialized delicate accusation (CSI) flows, nan CMA will effort to understand whether VMware presently has entree to CSI of Broadcom's hardware competitors, and if Broadcom would beryllium capable to spot that info if it does not get Virtzilla, and if that travel of accusation would mean Broadcom enjoys an advantage complete its rivals.

Also connected nan schedule is whether nan acquisition would lead to Broadcom, aliases its competitors, believing they "have nan inducement to compete little aggressively."

It's a batch to deliberation about.

  • VMware’s vSphere 8 Update 1 debuts nether revised merchandise merchandise regime
  • Broadcom-VMware merger probe to participate deeper 2nd stage
  • VMware nods to containerization pinch tweaks to virtual desktops and apps
  • Watchdog: Broadcom bargain of VMware whitethorn beryllium bad for competition

Further speculation astir nan woody has been provoked by nan US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is besides considering nan deal, listing 2 meetings connected April 25 and May 1. While nan FTC does not people agendas for those meetings, it has a constricted number of matters to see and it is apt that nan VMware/Broadcom woody will beryllium discussed – if not astatine some meetings, past apt astatine one.

Broadcom continues to insist that nan woody will beryllium done connected time, and VMware doesn't disagree.

However, speculators are reportedly little assured nan woody will hap connected immoderate timeframe.

If that happens, it will time off Broadcom's strategy of building a elephantine endeavor package business successful tatters and unit VMware to spell it alone.

The Register has made respective requests for an question and reply pinch Broadcom to talk its strategy for VMware, but nan megacorp has not acknowledged them. It has, however, published articles stating its belief that multicloud and unreality autochthonal package improvement will beryllium of awesome importance, and acquiring VMware is emblematic of that belief. ®