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HP/EDS merger gets EC thumbs-up

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The European Commission has unconditionally approved Hewlett-Packard's $13,9-billion acquisition of Electonic Data Systems (EDS).

The EC's approval follows the expiry of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 without any requests for additional information on the acquisition by the US Department of Justice or the US Federal Trade Commission.
In a statement, HP says that the transaction does, however, still require EDS stockholder approval and regulatory clearance from other non-US jurisdictions. EDS stockholders are scheduled to vote on the transaction on July 31, 2008. The transaction is also subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the other closing conditions specified in the definitive agreement.
HP also announced that HP, EDS and the plaintiffs in the five stockholder lawsuits that were commenced following the execution of the definitive agreement have agreed to settle and dismiss all pending lawsuits concerning the proposed merger, subject to court approval. As part of that settlement, HP and EDS have confirmed that the closing of the merger will not occur prior to 18 August 2008. Accordingly, the EDS third quarter 2008 dividend of $0.05 per share will be paid on 10 September to stockholders.