Report: Dell-EMC Merger Poised To Win EU Antitrust Approval

Dell's proposed acquisition of EMC appears ready to win antitrust from the European Union.

The European Commission, the executive body of the EU, is expected to give its unconditional approval of the deal by Feb. 29, according to a Reuters report.

In an emailed statement to CRN, a Dell spokesman would not comment specifically on the report, but said, "The EMC transaction is on schedule under the original timetable and the original terms."[

[Related: Dell Official Reaffirms Progress On Deal To Buy EMC]

"It is certainly fun and interesting to watch the drama play out on a daily basis," said Scott Winslow, president of Waltham, Mass-based Dell partner Winslow Technology Group. "We have great interest in seeing how it plays out, yet at the same time we have goals to hit for the quarter and for the year, a pipeline to close, and customer problems to solve, so we pretty much have to keep our heads down and focus on the task at hand."

"At the end of the day, we think the deal is going to happen because it seems that both parties want it to happen," Winslow said. "We are betting on a successful outcome to the acquisition and organizing our efforts around that outcome."

The acquisition, originally pegged at $67 billion when it was announced in October, would be the largest in the history of the tech industry, and it's expected to close between May and October. The deal's value has been driven down by VMware's declining share price, which has dropped by more than 40 percent in the last four months. EMC owns 80 percent of VMWare.

Dell recently pushed back against reports that claimed the deal had hit a snag with the group of banks arranging financing for the acquisition. Dell expects to take on as much as $49.5 billion in debt to make the deal happen, and has plans to begin paying down that debt aggressively in the first 18 to 24 months after the transaction closes.

Part of that debt pay-down includes selling off business units, and Dell is close to unloading its Perot Systems unit. Dell is in an exclusive, 30-day negotiating period with Tokyo-based NTT for the Perot unit, which Dell bought in 2009.

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