Competition Watchdog Probes Juniper Networks and HP Enterprise Deal

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has opened a Phase 1 investigation into the recently announced deal by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to acquire Juniper Networks for an all-cash transaction for $40.00 per share (here), which represented an equity value of approximately $14 billion (£11bn).

Network operators across the United Kingdom, and elsewhere around the world, have been watching the agreement very closely to see how the change might impact the vital kit and services they buy and use, particularly in terms of its cost, quality and performance.

This is because Juniper’s networking kit (routers, SDN, WiFi etc.) and related services are used by telecoms operators and IT companies across the world – of various difference sizes (e.g. UK broadband ISPs, data centres etc.) – and so any change on this front has the capacity to touch a lot of different players.

Despite this, the newly combined company has pledged to “provide customers of all sizes” with a complete, secure portfolio that enables the networking architecture necessary to manage and simplify their expanding and increasingly complex connectivity needs. Nevertheless, some still fear that HPE might attempt to re-focus the network biz to cater for more lucrative clients and thus cast aside the Service Provider (SP) market etc.

The CMA has now opened a Phase 1 investigation of the merger, which will assess whether the new deal may “result in a substantial lessening of competition” within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services. Feedback on the deal is being invited until 3rd July 2024 and the CMA will then announce whether or not it will refer the Merger for a deeper phase 2 investigation by 14th August 2024.

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