Cisco Receives Antitrust Approvals From European Commission and US Department of Justice for Pending Acquisition of TANDBERG
SAN JOSE, CA–(March 29, 2010) – Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced that it has received approval from the European Commission for its proposed acquisition of TANDBERG and that the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that it will not challenge the proposed acquisition in light of the commitments Cisco has made to the European Commission. The transaction remains subject to ongoing regulatory review in Brazil; however, the antitrust approvals from the European Commission and Justice Department represent the final regulatory approvals required before the transaction can close. Cisco and TANDBERG anticipate closing in the coming weeks.
The European Commission’s decision takes into account Cisco’s commitments to enhancing interoperability between its multi-screen video conferencing products and competitive products. In addition, as a condition to receiving this approval, Cisco is required to appoint an independent monitor, who must be approved by the Commission, to oversee the implementation of these commitments.
“We appreciate the thorough and efficient manner in which the Justice Department and the European Commission conducted their review of this transaction, and we are grateful for the leadership and close cooperation between the agencies throughout this process,” said Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Cisco’s Emerging Technologies Business Group. “Cisco has always strongly believed that industry expansion and growth is best fostered through open standards and interoperability, and our commitments to the Commission formalize 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.”
Cisco’s commitments to the European Commission include divesting ownership of its TelePresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP) and the library of open source software useful to implementers of TIP to an independent industry body. Cisco will also provide the industry body with all other rights necessary to implement TIP and authorize the industry body to license those rights to any interested party, royalty-free. The independent industry body will evolve TIP with the benefit of participation by others in the industry. Cisco will also make available royalty-free information about Cisco’s own implementation of the protocol that will facilitate efforts to interoperate with Cisco multi-screen TelePresence systems. Consistent with its long-term support of interoperability and open standards, Cisco has committed to implement the actions above within a short period of time.
Upon approval by the European Commission of the interoperability monitor described in the commitments, all conditions to closing will have been met, at which point the 14-day period to close outlined in the company’s offer to acquire TANDBERG will commence.