UK regulator set to probe HPE’s $14bn Juniper Networks acquisition

Image credit: Hewlett Packard Enterprise (Image credit: Hewlett Packard Enterprise)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has confirmed plans to investigate Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) upcoming acquisition of Juniper Networks.

In a statement, the CMA said it would launch a merger inquiry which would come into effect on June 20.

Those who believe that the merger may affect their market position are being invited to share comments with the CMA until July 3, opening up a two-week window for HPE rivals to scrutinize the company’s plans.

CMA investigation

“The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002," it added.

The CMA did not go into detail about why it has launched its first-phase investigation, but confirmed that a second phase could come into play from August 14.

HPE announced the deal back in January 2024, revealing it would buy the company’s shares for $40, equating to a total valuation of around $14 billion.

Back then, the company stated that the merge was expected to double its networking business.

HPE President and CEO Antonio Neri commented: “This transaction will strengthen HPE’s position at the nexus of accelerating macro-AI trends, expand our total addressable market, and drive further innovation for customers as we help bridge the AI-native and cloud-native worlds.”

Neri confirmed that Juniper’s workers would retain their positions under the new HPE ownership.

Juniper Networks CEO Rami Rahim added: “By joining HPE, I believe we can accelerate the next phase of our journey.”

HPE acknowledged that the deal would be subject to regulatory approval, indicating that the acquisition could be complete by the end of 2024 or in early 2025.

For now, the future of Juniper Networks under the HPE umbrella remains uncertain, with the CMA mounting similar pressures as other regulators, including antitrust investigators, around the world.

HPE told TechRadar Pro in an email:

"We can confirm the UK Competition and Markets Authority has accepted our filing as part of the standard process to review the proposed acquisition of Juniper Networks in several jurisdictions. We are working to complete all necessary reviews and secure clearance quickly and efficiently so that we can begin delivering value to our customers as soon as possible. We continue to expect to close by the end of calendar year 2024 or early 2025."

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!