UK Regulator Investigating HPE’s Acquisition of Juniper

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is considering if HPE’s $14 billion acquisition of Juniper will limit choice for customers.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

June 21, 2024

2 Min Read
HPE acquisition of Juniper faces UK regulation hurdle
Novikov Aleksey/Shutterstock

The U.K.’s competition regulator is investigating the proposed $14 billion acquisition of Juniper Networks by HPE.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is considering whether the acquisition will stifle competition in the U.K. The watchdog said it is concerned it may “result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.”

To assist it with its assessment, the CMA has invited comments on the deal from any interested party.

The CMA said it will announce on Aug. 14 if it will continue with a second phase of the investigation.

HPE Acquisition Will Make Partners “More Relevant”

HPE announced its plans to acquire Juniper in January. CEO Antonio Neri said he envisioned a new company post-merge, where Juniper’s AI-based networking stack is central to its offerings. At the time, Neri said he didn’t foresee any problems with the purchase of Juniper, touting his previous success with HPE’s acquisition of Aruba Networks in 2015.

Neri also said the acquisition will make channel partners “much more relevant.”

Partners were “really excited” by the prospect of the combined company, according to Juniper’s EMEA channel leader. Partners of both companies reacted positively to the news, but said they would keep a close eye on proceedings.

Related:Cloud News Roundup: UK Follows FTC’s Lead in Investigating AWS and Azure

HPE continues to expect to close the deal by the end of 2024 or early next year, it said in an email to media. The vendor said it was working with the U.K. regulator to complete necessary reviews and secure clearance as soon as possible.

It said: "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."

CMA Also Investigating Microsoft, AWS

This isn’t the first time the CMA has been a thorn in the side of tech giants.

Last year the CMA investigated the acquisition of VMware by Broadcom, as it was concerned the deal would weaken competition in the server market. It finally cleared the deal last July.

The regulator is currently investigating Microsoft Azure and AWS for anticompetitive practices in the U.K..

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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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