Intel's big buyout of security specialist McAfee has come under attack with reports that the European Union is launching an investigation into the deal.

Originally announced back in August, the deal saw chip giant Intel offer to buy security specialist McAfee for a massive $7.68 billion, with Paul Otellini predicting that 'security will join [energy-efficient performance and connectivity] as a third pillar of what people demand from all computing experiences,' and declaring that Intel would be at the forefront of that wave.

Otellini's plans look in jeopardy, however, with the news that the European Union is to launch an investigation into Intel's purchase of McAfee amid fears that it could result in McAfee becoming the sole provider of security functionality for Intel's chips - a self-driven monopoly of the type that the EU is pledged to prevent.

In coverage by The Wall Street Journal, the driving force for an EU investigation into the Intel-McAfee deal is explained to be concerns that McAfee, which Intel plans to continue to operate as a wholly owned but separate commercial entity, would be the only company allowed to bid to provide the security features planned for Intel's future platforms - such as the anti-theft capabilities that are included in the company's Sandy Bridge platform.

With Intel having been in trouble with the EU before, resulting in a record-breaking £948 million fine, investors will be watching the outcome of the investigation closely.

Do you think the EU is right to be concerned about Intel's purchase of McAfee, or should the company be left alone to buy companies as it sees fit? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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