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Europe clears Intel purchase of Altera

The European Commission has cleared the proposed merger of US electronic component suppliers Altera and Intel.16 Oct 2015

The Commission believes the combined company will continue to face effective competition in Europe, it said in a statement.

Intel and Altera supply different types of semiconductors to the electronics industry, the Commission said. Altera focusses on programmable logic devices, including field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) while Intel designs and manufactures central processing units (CPUs) under its own name and as a contract manufacturer, the Commission said.

The activities of the companies are linked in some semiconductor markets, with Altera's FPGAs used in Intel's CPUs, the Commission said, and it therefore investigated the vertical relationship between the two companies as well as the anti-competitive effects of Intel's strong position in the CPU market.

The investigation found that Intel's position in contract manufacturing is limited, and that Altera's demand for these services is not important compared to overall market demand. Several competitors are active both upstream and downstream in the market, the Commission said.

The Commission also found that Altera's competitors will continue to be able to connect their FPGAs to Intel CPUs despite the merger, and that other CPU manufacturers will have access to alternative FPGA supplies. 

The Commission worked closely with the US Federal Trade Commission during the investigation, it said.