UK probes HPE’s $14bn Juniper Networks deal

19 Jun 2024

Image: © JHVEPhoto/

HPE and Juniper plan to ‘supercharge’ their AI-native networking offerings with their merger, but the CMA is concerned that the deal could impact competition in UK markets.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has begun an investigation into Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) planned acquisition of Juniper Networks and is looking for feedback.

HPE announced the $14bn merger earlier this year as a way to “supercharge” its offerings in AI-native networking. The two companies plan to strengthen their position in the growing AI sector through this deal.

But the UK authority is investigating whether the merger could lead to a “substantial lessening of competition” within markets in the UK. The CMA has begun a ‘Phase 1’ investigation, an initial probe into the deal to see if it warrants a deeper investigation.

The CMA has also invited comments on the transaction from “any interested party”, with a closing date of 3 July. The authority has informed both companies of the probe and has a deadline of 14 August to decide if it will pursue a deeper investigation.

Juniper develops networking technology products such as routers, switches, and network management and security software. It has focused on AI in recent years, which prompted the attention of HPE.

If the deal goes ahead, Juniper CEO Rami Rahim will lead the combined HPE networking business and report directly to HPE president and CEO Antonio Neri.

“This combination will supercharge our offerings in AI-native networking,” Rahim said in January when speaking of the deal. “Together, we will accelerate innovation at every layer: compute, storage and networking; silicon, systems and software; campus and branch; data centre; and the wide area network.”

HPE, which resulted from a split in Hewlett Packard that separated its consumer and enterprise businesses, has been growing rapidly and making acquisitions across many segments of its business. Last October, it created 150 jobs at a new hybrid cloud R&D centre in Galway.

Earlier this year, HPE’s managing director of Ireland, Ray McGann, spoke on The Leaders’ Room podcast to share his thoughts on leadership in the technology sector, with a focus on AI and on the EU’s recently passed AI Act.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic