The European Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice have just approved Cisco’s $3.4 billion acquisition of video conferencing company Tandberg. According to the release, the transaction remains subject to 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. The deal, which was announced last Fall, is expected to close in the coming weeks.
Cisco and the Norway and New York-based Tandberg both develop competing tele- conferencing technologies. The release says that the European Commission took into account Cisco’s ambitions to incorporate Tandberg’s technologies to further “interoperability between its multi-screen video conferencing products and competitive products.” As a condition of the approval of the deal, Cisco is required to appoint an independent monitor, who must be approved by the Commission, to oversee the implementation of these commitments. Once the Commission approves the independent monitor, the deal can close.
Cisco recently bought up Rohati Systems, and acquired the set-top box business of one of China’s largest cable companies, DVN, for $44.5 million. This deal was peanuts compared to Cisco’s other 2009 acquisitions including the acquisition of ScanSafe for $183 million. And last fall, Cisco announced a $2.9 billion acquisition of mobile networking infrastructure provider Starent Networks. It’s been quite a shopping spree for Cisco; and it must be a relief to have its most expensive purchase finally approved.