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Cisco is relieved the FTC stepped in to protect it from its competitor

Chuck Robbins 5

(Cisco CEO Chuck RobbinsCisco Live/Business Insider)
On Monday, the FTC said that it was putting special provisions in place to protect Cisco from potential damage from the acquisition of its competitor, Brocade.

Chipmaker Broadcom got the regulatory nod on Monday to acquire Brocade in a $5.9 billion deal. (The deal was announced in November.)

Brocade makes equipment to build computer networks and also to build networks specifically designed for computer storage, known as "fibre channel switches." There's two big players in this fibre channel market, Brocade and Cisco.

The problem is Broadcom makes a lot of chips for all sorts of networking products, and one of its big customers is Cisco. Right from the start, Broadcom said it would sell off Broadcom's general networking...