RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Antitrust regulators on the European Union are expected to approve the $34 billion acquisition of Raleigh-based Red Hat by IBM, according to the Reuters news service.

Citing unnamed “people familiar with the matter,” Reuters said the deal is likely to be approved by the EU “without demanding concessions.”

The EU and IBM declined comment on the report, the news service added.

Earlier Wednesday before the Reuters news broke, an IBM spokesperson declined to offer an update on the merger.

“All we’re saying now is what we’ve announced before, that IBM expects to complete the acquisition sometime in the second half of 2019,” the spokesperson said.

The U.S. Justice Department has already OK’d the deal, that decision coming in May.

“On May 3, 2019, IBM was informed that the U.S. Department of Justice has concluded its review of IBM’s proposed acquisition of Red Hat without remedies or conditions and received a notice of early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976,” IBM said in the filing with the SEC.

“IBM and Red Hat continue to work with competition authorities in other jurisdictions, and IBM continues to expect the transaction to close in the second half of 2019.”

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) announced the deal last October.

Report: IBM-Red Hat deal might escape in-depth EU review

Earlier reports had said a decision by the EU was expected by June 27.

“IBM is seeking to expand its subscription-based software offerings via the deal, its biggest to date, to counter slowing software sales and waning demand for mainframe servers,” Reuters noted.

Approval by the EU is one of the remaining hurdles to the merger.

IBM’s Rometty: Red Hat will remain independent – ‘I don’t have a death wish’