Cisco wins Commission approval to buy NDS
By Sophie Mosca | Tuesday 24 July 2012
The networking products manufacturer Cisco systems obtained the European Commission’s approval, on 24 July, to finalise its acquisition of Britain’s NDS Group Limited, a supplier of technology and software to the pay TV sector. The €4.13 billion transaction, Cisco’s largest acquisition since 2006, strengthens its position in this expanding sector where NDS provides solutions for satellite, cable, terrestrial, IPTV and mobile TV systems. The San José-based firm (United States) will be able to improve its products for next-generation TV supplied via computers, tablets or telephones, giving consumers a wider choice of content and storage and interaction options.
The European Commission’s investigation concluded that the acquisition raises no competition concerns because the merged entity will continue to compete with other strong firms on the markets where the two parties’ activities overlap: the provision of hardware components, such as decoders, and of software components (conditional access systems, digital rights management, digital video application software, content management systems, etc).
In addition, customers – pay TV providers – will still have access to other suppliers on all the markets. The vertical and conglomerate relations, particularly between NDS’s pay TV software activities and Cisco’s decoder activities, will not enable the new entity to increase costs for its competitors or shut them out through bundled offers.