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Opera Software sale scaled down to avoid privacy concerns

US regulators would have taken too long to approve the sale based on how it would affect personal information, the Chinese consortium that wants to buy Opera said.

Privacy concerns helped scuttle a deal to buy Norwegian company Opera Software on Monday, according to a report from Reuters.

Opera Software CEO Lars Boilesen at Mobile World Congress

Opera Software CEO Lars Boilesen at Mobile World Congress 2013

Stephen Shankland/CNET

A group of Chinese companies calling themselves the Kunqi consortium was hoping to buy Opera Software, which in addition to its web browser has a range of products and services aimed at other businesses.

But it was worries over consumers and their personal information that caused the consortium to hit the brakes and reconsider purchasing certain parts of the company. The group is going forward with a plan to purchase a smaller portion of Opera's business assets, Reuters said.

The deal was awaiting approval from regulators in the US, according to Reuters, and the Kunqi consortium backed away after learning how long it could take to make sure the sale wouldn't harm user privacy.

"This would be extremely rigorously investigated during the U.S. government's audit and probably would have delayed the entire acquisition process by six months to a year," a spokeswoman from consortium member company Kunlun told Reuters.

Search and security company Qihoo 360 is also a member of the consortium. Opera and Qihoo did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this story. Kunlun could not be reached for this story.