The European Commission said on Thursday that it had approved without conditions Hewlett-Packard's proposed purchase of Compaq Computer in a $22.3-billion deal.
"A careful analysis of the merger...and of the competitive forces in the markets concerned has shown that HP would not be in a position to increase prices and that consumers would continue to benefit from sufficient choice and innovation," the Commission said in a statement.
Regulatory clearance, which had been widely expected, is not the final hurdle for the merger of the two U.S.-based global providers of computing and enterprise technology solutions.
A shareholder vote on what would be the largest merger in personal computer history is expected in March and the outcome is far from certain.
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