As we previously reported, Israeli-based Check Point Software and US-based Sourcefire had been scheduled to merge pending review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The merger has now been cancelled and Sourcefire will continue to operate as the industry's largest private intrusion prevention system (IPS) vendor.
Specific details on why the merger was cancelled were not made public by either company, however the Associated Press reported that objections to the merger were voiced by FBI and Pentagon officials. Some of the objections centered around Check Point gaining control over patents to source code owned by Sourcefire and used in the open source Snort intrusion detection system. Snort is widely used around the world, including within various US government networks. It appears as though Check Point withdrew before the deal could be rejected by the Bush administration for national security reasons.
In statements issued to the press, Gil Shwed, Check Point's CEO, said, "We've decided to pursue alternative ways for Check Point and Sourcefire to partner in order to bring to market the most comprehensive security solutions."
Echoing the same basic sentiment, Wayne Jackson, Sourcefire CEO, said, "While we maintain the highest respect for the Check Point team, we are relieved that the process has reached a conclusion and look forward to exploring our partnership opportunities."