AMD has gained approval from key US, Canadian and German antitrust regulators for its $5.4bn plan to buy ATI.
Anti-trust approval for the deal, which has been billed as a major step forward for AMD in its battle against rival Intel, pushes the acquisition far closer to completion. But it still faces several smaller hurdles, including a vote of approval by ATI on 13 October, and further scrutiny by regulators in Canada and Taiwan.
The companies expect the acquisition to close by 30 November. ATI has to pay AMD a termination fee of $162mn if it backs out of the arrangement.
AMD said a required waiting period related to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 has expired, opening the door for its purchase of ATI as far as US antitrust authorities are concerned. Canada's Commissioner of Competition has also given the deal a green light, as has the German Federal Cartel Office.
The world's second largest microprocessor maker hopes the ATI purchase will beef up its graphics and chipset prowess, and give it a new weapon in its fight for market share against Intel. Until now, AMD has relied on third-party chipset makers such as ATI, nVidia, Via, and Silicon Integrated Systems for the majority of its chipsets.
Some analysts believe that in the future, chipsets will take on far more work than just graphics, one day including even the microprocessor.