Get the latest news alerts: at Twitter.

Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – IBM (NYSE: IBM) and SPSS (Nasdaq: SPSS) cleared a major hurdle Wednesday when the federal antitrust review deadline passed without any action taken against their proposed merger, SPSS said.

shareholders must still approve the $1.2 billion acquisition by at a shareholders meeting on Oct. 2.

The deal, which was announced in July, would boost IBM’s offerings in business intelligence software and services.

SPSS is based in Chicago. It will operate as an IBM subsidiary.

One of IBM’s competitors in the business intelligence space will continue to be Cary-based SAS.

“The expiration of the waiting period satisfies one of the conditions to the closing of the Merger,” SPSS said in a statement. “Completion of the Merger remains subject to approval of the stockholders of SPSS and the satisfaction or waiver of other closing conditions as set forth in the Merger Agreement. SPSS’ special meeting of stockholders to consider the Merger Agreement, as earlier announced, is scheduled for October 2, 2009.”

SPSS shares closed at $49.89 Wednesday. IBM closed at $116.76.

IBM employs some 10,000 people in the Triangle region.