Global team of economists facilitates successful acquisition of VMware by Broadcom


Experts from Charles River Associates (CRA), a leading global economic consulting firm, offered services and support on the recently completed acquisition of VMware by Broadcom. This milestone marks the culmination of a year-plus-long effort by an international team of expert economists and consultants.

VMware is a global player in cloud infrastructure and digital workspace technology that operates across a wide range of enterprise hardware that transformed their customers’ IT environments. Broadcom Inc. is a global technology company that designs, develops, and supplies a broad range of semiconductor solutions. Broadcom recently expanded into software, particularly for mainframe and security applications.

The acquisition, combining VMware’s advanced software solutions for datacenter servers with Broadcom’s hardware offerings for datacenters, presented complex regulatory challenges that were investigated in multiple antitrust authorities across the globe, most notably the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the European Commission (EC), the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the United Kingdom, the State Administration for Market Supervision (SAMR) in China, and the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC).  Concerns were raised about the potential of this mostly non-horizontal combination to harm competition in ethernet network interface cards (NICs), fibre channel host bus adapters (FC HBAs), and storage adapters by reducing the interoperability of VMware software with rival hardware devices.

Responding to these challenges, CRA’s team of economists provided in-depth consulting support. They played a crucial role in addressing the concerns of antitrust authorities. The team’s comprehensive analysis also informed the unconditional clearance decisions and the design of effective remedies that satisfied regulators’ concerns about future competition.

The successful outcome demonstrates the capability of CRA’s global team to navigate complex economic issues across a range of regulatory environments and was reached by combining the economic insights of our experts across several offices.

  • The European team was led by Dan Donath, Uğur Akgün, and Michael Muehlbradt.
  • The North American team was led by Prof. Steven C. Salop and Yianis Sarafidis in Washington, DC, and Kenneth Kerr.
  • The APAC team was led by Fei Deng and Yi Cheng.

The collaborative efforts of our global team demonstrate CRA’s commitment to providing world-class economic consulting services. The ability to address the complexity of the analysis and the overlapping interests of national regulators is an example of the company’s industry-leading expertise and the global reach of our consultancy.