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US regulators lapse into state of approval for HP's EDS buy

Deal receives official 'meh'

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US regulators are letting Hewlett-Packard's planned $13.9bn purchase of computer services giant Electronic Data Systems (EDS) go through without much anti-trust fuss.

Both the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission have let the required competition law waiting period expire sans any requests for additional information into the matter.

HP's purchase of Texas-based EDS will effectively double its services business. It will also make the company a strong second in the IT services market behind IBM.

So HP looks in good shape stateside, although the acquisition still needs approval from EDS shareholders and overseas regulators. That could be trickier — as Europe has a history of judging major IT company buys with a heavier hand.

EDS investors will have their say regarding the acquisition during a shareholder meeting July 31. If all goes smoothly for HP, it expects to close the purchase in the second half of this year.

We're sure the likes of Sun, Dell and Cisco are happy to see the US give up without a fight. They're all wondering exactly how this acquisition will affect their strong ties to EDS. ®

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