FTC Clears Hewlett-Packard Purchase of Compaq


Hewlett-Packard won permission on Wednesday from antitrust enforcers to acquire rival Compaq Computer as the Federal Trade Commission closed its review of the combination.

The approval comes a day after the deal won a key endorsement from an influential investor advisory firm, which backed the proposal for computer and printing giant Hewlett-Packard's purchase of the No. 2 U.S. computer maker Compaq.

The deal now awaits votes by shareholders of the two companies which are slated for March 19 and March 20. The families of the Hewlett-Packard founders have been lobbying against the combination.

"Completion of the FTC review marks a major milestone in the approval process, and we are now focused on winning the shareowner vote," Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said in a statement.

Shares of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Hewlett-Packard closed down 41 cents, to $20.18, while shares of Houston-based Compaq closed up 40 cents, to $10.98, on the New York Stock Exchange.

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