Regulators to Consider $28bn Cisco Splunk Acquisition

Deal if approved would create one of the largest software companies globally, with the acquisition aiming to accelerate Cisco’s business transformation

Regulators in the European Union have set a deadline on whether to approve Cisco’s US$28bn bid to acquire cybersecurity firm Splunk, with regulators having played an increasingly visible role in the process of tech mergers and acquisitions in recent months.

First announced in September 2023, the deal would create one of the largest software companies globally, with the acquisition aiming to accelerate Cisco’s business transformation and accelerate revenue growth.

As reported by Reuters, the EU competition watchdog has set a deadline of 13th March to either clear the deal with or without remedies, or to open a full-scale investigation if it has serious concerns.

Cisco and Splunk to provide observability across hybrid and multi-cloud environments 

Antitrust regulators have increasingly appeared to keep a close eye on tech mergers in recent months. Microsoft was forced to restructure its US$69bn deal to acquire Activision Blizzard to get it approved by regulators last year, while Broadcom’s deal to acquire VMware last year was reportedly held up by Chinese regulators before finally being approved.

Meanwhile Adobe announced in December 2023 that it had mutually agreed to end its US$20m merger agreement with web-first collaborative design platform Figma, citing regulatory issues in the European Union and the UK.

If the deal goes ahead, Cisco and Splunk will work to provide observability across hybrid and multi-cloud environments enabling the company's customers to deliver smooth application experiences that power their digital businesses.

With the global big data market projected to be worth almost US$400bn by 2030, organisations today are increasingly having to factor in the acceleration and adoption of systems like generative AI. Continually expanding threat surfaces and multiple cloud environments are today creating a level of complexity that is unlike anything organisations have faced before. 

Together, Cisco and Splunk aim to address these challenges head on. In a statement last September, the companies said the combination of two well-established leaders with complementary capabilities in AI, security and observability would aim to help make organisations of all sizes more secure and digitally resilient.

“We're excited to bring Cisco and Splunk together. Our combined capabilities will drive the next generation of AI-enabled security and observability,” Chuck Robbins, Chair and CEO of Cisco, said at the time. “From threat detection and response to threat prediction and prevention, we will help make organisations of all sizes more secure and resilient.”

Founded in 2003, Splunk has over 1,100 patents and a culture of innovation Today, many of the world’s largest and most complex organisations, including Coca-Cola, Zillow and Hyatt, rely on Splunk to keep their mission critical systems secure and reliable.

“Cisco and Splunk have had a long and successful partnership, underpinned by products and capabilities that fundamentally complement each other and enhance the value we deliver to customers,” said Gary Steele, President & CEO at Splunk. “By bringing our two companies together, we will be able to build on our industry-leading solutions to deliver the most comprehensive visibility and insight in the market across security, observability and network operations.”

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