Intel has agreed to acquire anti-virus giant McAfee for $7.68 billion (£4.9bn).

The PC security market is in a strange place following the decision of Microsoft to offer free security software, but Intel have nevertheless decided that McAfee is ripe for purchase.

The chip giant will buy all of McAfee's stock at $48 per share in cash.

Final approval pending

The deal has been apparently been approved by both companies' boards of directors but needs to be approved by McAfee shareholders and government regulators for it to become final.

Whispers of a deal meant that McAfees's stock rose hugely in pre-business trading.

It remains to be seen if Intel will offer security software under the McAfee brand for free or if it has plans to continue the paid-for model.