Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

U.S. Regulators Approve Intel's Perplexing Acquisition of McAfee

The Federal Trade Commission today approved a $7.7 billion deal by Intel, the world’s largest maker of computer chips, to acquire McAfee, the security software maker.

The deal, which once approved would amount to the largest deal in Intel’s history, still faces scrutiny by the European Union’s antitrust regulators, who have expressed concerns. This is of course the group that handed down the largest antitrust fine in its history against Intel. An appeal by Intel against that fine is pending.

I still find this combination a little confusing. I certainly see the need for Intel to grow its business beyond its core of providing the world’s personal computers and servers with microprocessors, and to add security features to future chips. But making chips is what it does best, and history has shown that when Intel deviates from what it does best it often regrets it later.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work