HP's 3Com purchase set to win EU approval - source

BRUSSELS Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:37am EST

BRUSSELS Feb 10 (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) is set to win unconditional EU approval for its takeover of 3Com Corp COMS.O as the deal poses no major competition concerns, a person familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.

U.S. technology giant HP agreed in November to pay $3 billion for network equipment maker 3Com, aiming to expand its product portfolio, boost sales in the fast-growing Chinese market and better compete with Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O).

Technology companies such as IBM (IBM.N) and Oracle Corp ORCL.O are rapidly transforming into one-stop shops for computing, networking and data storage.

"It should go through smoothly. There are no grounds for offering conditions. It should be an unconditional clearance," the person said.

The European Commission, competition watchdog of the 27-country European Union, has until Friday to decide whether to approve the deal, extend its review or block the transaction.

The Commission's competition spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

HP, the world's biggest technology company by sales, has said it expects to close the deal early in the fiscal second quarter. The company declined to comment on the EU review.

HP has acquired more than 30 companies since 2005. Analysts expect the acquisition spree to continue, reinforcing the firm as an all-round provider of technology products and services. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Dale Hudson)

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