DOJ won't challenge Cisco acquisition of Tandberg

Decisions by the DOJ and EC allow the $3 billion acquisition to move forward

The U.S. Department of Justice won't challenge Cisco Systems' US$3 billion acquisition of video-conferencing service provider Tandberg, the agency announced Monday.

The acquisition of Tandberg, with dual headquarters in Oslo and New York, is not likely to be anticompetitive because of the evolving nature of the videoconferencing market and commitment Cisco has made to the European Commission to provide interoperable systems, the DOJ said in a news release.

Cisco announced in September that it planned to acquire Tandberg in a stock purchase deal. The two companies are competitors in the type of videoconferencing called telepresence, a high-definition service intended to simulate face-to-face meetings.

The European Commission also announced Monday that it has cleared the transaction. Cisco has made commitments to the Commission to facilitate interoperability between its telepresence products and those of other companies, the DOJ said. Cisco will help with the development of open operating standards, which can lower barriers for other competitors to enter the market, the DOJ said.

The DOJ and the Commission worked closely together on the investigation The investigation was "a model of international cooperation," Christine Varney, assistant attorney general in charge of the DOJ's Antitrust Division, said in a statement.

Cisco, based in San Jose, California, had annual revenue of about $35 billion in 2009. It is the largest provider of telepresence equipment worldwide.

Tandberg had revenue of about $900 million in 2009, and is the largest provider of videoconferencing equipment worldwide, the DOJ said.

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Grant Gross

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