Exclusive: Nvidia to win unconditional EU okay for $6.8 billion Mellanox buy - sources

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. chipmaker Nvidia is set to win unconditional EU antitrust approval for its $6.8 billion acquisition of Mellanox Technologies MLNX.O, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Nvidia, known for its powerful gaming graphics chips, is looking to boost its data center and artificial intelligence business via the takeover, its biggest deal, helping it to better compete with rival Intel .

The European Commission, which is scheduled to decide on the deal by Dec. 19, declined to comment. Nvidia and Mellanox also declined to comment.

U.S. authorities have already cleared the deal without conditions while approval is still pending in China where Mellanox has major customers such as Alibaba and Baidu .

Once known as a provider of gaming chips, Nvidia now also provides chips to speed up artificial intelligence tasks such as teaching servers to recognize images. Mellanox makes chips that connect those servers together inside the data center.

It beat Intel for Mellanox.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, additional reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, William Maclean