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US OKs IBM PC deal

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Having swept the lampshades for bugs, and checked the car park for underground tunnels, the United States Treasury has agreed to allow IBM's sale of its PC business to Lenovo without further hindrance, and without comment. The 12-man Committee on Foreign Investments (CFIUS), which reports to the Treasury, had launched an investigation into the sale. But the CFIUS gave the green light ahead of its scheduled completion date of next Monday. With the FTC giving approval last year, the deal is now set to proceed.

Under the deal, the government-owned Lenovo becomes a major supplier to the US military. But fears of espionage weren't enough to prompt further concessions. Last month Bloomberg reported that IBM had offered to keep certain customer lists private and prohibit Lenovo staff from some IBM facilities.

Lenovo will pay $1.25bn for the PC division, and IBM retains an 18.9 per cent stake in the company. IBM also becomes a Lenovo reseller, and the Chinese giant wins the right to use the 'Thinkpad' brand for five years. The deal doesn't cover IBM's x86 servers. ®

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