The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) provisionally cleared a $69 billion acquisition of VMware by Broadcom after taking the initial view it was unlikely to have substantial negative impacts, with the decision subject to a consultation.

Interested parties have a deadline of 9 August to make comments on the CMA’s findings from the investigation. A final decision is due on 12 September.

As part of the probe, the CMA panel assessed the proposed deal’s potential effects on innovation and issues around compatibility of products from Broadcom’s rivals with VMWare server virtualisation software.

It concluded a tie-up would not substantially reduce competition for supply of server hardware components and dismissed concerns around hampered innovation.

Regarding compatibility, the CMA noted it had “explored concerns that the deal could harm the ability of Broadcom’s rivals to compete if the merged company were to make their products work less well (or not at all) with VMware’s server virtualisation software.”

“However, it has provisionally found that the potential financial benefit to Broadcom and VMware of making rival products work less well with VMware’s software would not outweigh the potential financial cost in terms of lost business.”

The CMA’s findings were published a week after the European Commission (EC) conditionally cleared the deal.

In a statement announcing the EC’s blessing, Broadcom noted it already had approvals from Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Africa and Taiwan.