Chinese $1.2 billion takeover of Norway's Opera failed over U.S. concerns over users' privacy: Kunlun

BEIJING (Reuters) - A $1.2 billion takeover of Norwegian online browser firm Opera Software by a Chinese consortium of internet firms failed over concerns over users’ privacy, a key concern for U.S. authorities, one of the Chinese partners told Reuters on Monday.

As an alternative, the consortium, which includes search and security business Qihoo 360 Technology Co and Beijing Kunlun Tech Co, a distributor of online and mobile games, will take over certain parts of Opera’s consumer business for $600 million.

“According to what we know, it was because of Opera’s other services, and involves very many users’ 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 Kunlun spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

“So we opted for a better method, and chose Opera’s core assets, namely the consumer business, as the target of the acquisition. That greatly accelerates the acquisition process.”

Reporting by Paul Carsten and Beijing Newsroom, writing by Gwladys Fouche in Oslo, editing by Stine Jacobsen in Oslo