Dell, the world's third-biggest maker of computers, is set to gain unconditional EU antitrust approval for its $67bn (€60bn) bid for data storage company EMC, according to sources.

Dell unveiled the deal in October last year, the largest ever in the technology industry sector, and designed to enable Dell to better challenge rivals Cisco Systems, IBM and Hewlett-Packard  in cloud computing, mobility and cyber security.

European Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso declined to comment yesterday on the deal. The Commission is scheduled to give its ruling on the deal by 29 February.

"The transaction is on schedule under its original timetable and original terms," a Dell spokesman said in a statement.

The offer from Dell is $33.15 per share in cash and special stock. 

Dell said it would pay $24.05 per share in cash and the rest in a special stock that tracks the value of a portion of EMC's economic interest in VMWare, the virtualisation software company majority-owned by EMC. 

EMC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

EMC shares closed 0.56% higher at $25.12.

Dell founder and Chief Executive Michael Dell took the company private three years ago with the help of private equity firm Silver Lake.

The computer maker has arranged a debt package for up to $49.5bn (€44.6bn) to help finance the EMC deal, the second-largest M&A financing on record.

EMC has an Irish workforce of over 3,000, most of which are based in Cork, while Dell employs over 2,300 people in Dublin, Cork and Limerick. VMware has more than 700 staff in Cork.