HP Edging Closer to EDS

Hewlett-Packard inched closer to matching IBM's command of the tech market yesterday with the announcement that the U.S. investigation into the company's acquisition of Electronic Data Systems has ended with a thumbs up from Uncle Sam.

The deal, which would place HP second only to IBM in the technosphere, still has to clear European regulators, well known for taking a less permissive stance towards competition-limiting partnerships. EDS's shareholders will also have their say at the end of the month, though it doesn't appear that HP is particularly worried about a shareholder veto. The deal, valued between $12.5 and $14 billion, would be the largest buyout for HP since its "merger" with Compaq in May 2002.

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