EU set to okay Cisco's $5 billion NDS deal: source

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 13, 2012 11:24 AM
EU set to okay Cisco's $5 billion NDS deal: source

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. network equipment maker Cisco is expected to gain unconditional EU approval for its $5 billion purchase of TV software developer NDS after regulators indicated the deal would not pose any serious competition concerns, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The NDS acquisition will be Cisco's biggest deal and comes after its $3.3 billion purchase of Norwegian conferencing company Tandberg in 2009.

NDS is 51 percent owned by private equity fund Permira and the rest by News Corp.

"At this point, the Commission has not expressed any serious concerns on any particular issues to the parties," said the person, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The European Commission has set a July 23 deadline for a decision.

The purchase of NDS will extend Cisco's presence in emerging markets such as China, where CCTV is an NDS customer, and India where TataSky is also a client.

NDS' other users include BSkyB and Sky Italia in Europe, and Cablevision Systems Corp, Comcast Corp and Rogers Communications Inc. in North America.

NDS' software allows cable and satellite TV companies to deliver encrypted content through televisions and other devices. Cisco's core business is routers and switches that manage Internet traffic.

(Editing by Stephen Powell)