Last night, at the stroke of midnight, the waiting period required by antitrust regulators on EMC’s proposed buyout by privately held computing company Dell expired, according to the data storage company.
The expiration of the review period imposed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is a key step toward closing the deal, which is on track to close sometime this fall. Regulators in the European Union were said to be close to giving their own approval to the deal last week. They had previously suggested they would rule on the deal by Feb. 29. Regulators in China are also expected to weigh in.
In proposing to buy out EMC, Dell proposed an ambitious and complex plan to raise about $50 billion in debt and issue tracking shares linked to VMware, an EMC-controlled software company. The deal has yet to be approved by EMC shareholders, though an activist hedge fund that had pressed for changes at EMC has supported the buyout, and many are expected to follow its lead, despite demands for changes from some shareholders.
EMC shares rose slightly to $25.34. VMware shares fell by more than 2 percent to $48.52.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.