The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has approved IBM Corp.’s plans to sell its hard disk drive (HDD) operations to Hitachi Ltd., removing one of the last regulatory hurdles before the deal’s closing.

The US$2.05 billion sale, announced in April and finalized by the companies in June, will give Hitachi control of a new company to be called Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, based in San Jose.

With antitrust approvals in hand from the European Commission, the Japan Fair Trade Commission, Brazil’s Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Economica and Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission, Hitachi and IBM said they await the endorsement of one more regulatory body.

The companies have previously forecast the deal to close by the end of this year.

The companies are online at and