TomTom cleared to purchase Tele Atlas, Garmin shrugs

Despite issuing an early statement of objection, the EC has come around to see the merits of a TomTom / Tele Atlas deal. In fact, the two companies have received "unconditional clearance" from the European Commission for the proposed acquisition. The US already approved the deal in October. Thing is, shareholders better get a move on since the bidding-war-boosted $4.2 billion offer (plus another $300 million thanks to the weakass dollar) made in November is set to expire on May 30th. Although it could be extended. Of course, Garmin made a move for Tele Atlas early on with a $3.3 billion bid of its own. Nevertheless, with TomTom profits heading downward and Garmin's own, hotly anticipated Nuvifone on the horizon, maybe Garmin will be laughing last after all.