Acquisitive Intel picks up McAfee for $7.68 billion

Chipmaker Intel, which had been operating about as quietly below the radar as a company that size can, has come onto everybody's screens with a $7.68 billion bid to acquire McAfee, a leading antivirus provider with strong connections to service providers like Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA).

That's not the market Intel is reportedly eager to tap as it tightens the links between its chips and McAfee's software. Intel already offers its own security platform for enterprise PCs, so McAfee will be used for something else like the burgeoning smartphone space.

"The bottom line is this will better protect Intel users and their devices," Intel CEO Paul Otellini said as Renee James, Intel's senior vice president of software and services promised that the "first fruits" of the deal would become event early in 2011.

Intel first hit screens earlier this week when it gobbled up Texas Instruments' able modem product line which it promised to roll into its DOCSIS chipsets business.

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