January 24, 2008 / 4:25 PM / 10 years ago

EU clears IBM's purchase of software maker Cognos

BRUSSELS, Jan 24 (Reuters) - The European Commission on Thursday approved IBM Corp’s (IBM.N) $5 billion purchase of software maker Cognos Inc CSN.TOCOGN.O.

Ottawa-based Cognos makes software that combs through vast amounts of data to analyse business trends.

Software is IBM’s fastest-growing and most profitable division. IBM also uses software products to get customers to buy its consulting services and hardware.

“The horizontal overlap between the parties’ activities would not give rise to competition concerns, since the parties’ combined market share would be moderate,” the Commission, the top EU competition regulator, said in a statement.

“The combined IBM/Cognos entity would continue to face several strong competitors and customers would find sufficient alternative suppliers of such software products,” it said.

The deal won approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in December. (Reporting by David Lawsky and Dale Hudson)

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