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Brocade has cleared the last regulatory hurdle in its bid to own about 70 per cent of the global fibre channel switch market, after the Federal Trade Commission closed its anti-trust investigation into the takeover of McData.

Brocade swooped on its rival in August 2006 with a $713m stock swap, which was approved unanimously by the two boards.

Despite widespread mutterings that a tie-up could fall foul of anti-trust watchdogs, the firm has maintained throughout the deal would pass regulatory muster.

Brocade said on Wednesday that the papers should now be signed on Monday next week, pending stockholder approval.

When it does goes through, the deal will leave only Brocade and more recent entrant Cisco to scrap for the fibre channel switch market. Brocade has said it expects to slash $100m in costs post-acquisition.

The combined company will have better international reach, with Brocade closer to HP, thus shifting bigger volumes in Europe, and McData stronger on home turf. ®

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