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GitHub co-founder Chris Wanstrath, future GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and Microsoft CFO Amy Hood. (Microsoft Photo)

Microsoft’s deal to buy GitHub for $7.5 billion cleared a major regulatory hurdle Friday.

The European Commission, the regulatory arm of the EU, approved the acquisition without conditions, finding that the deal would not harm competition. Microsoft has vowed to keep GitHub independent, addressing concerns that it might use the code repository to give itself an advantage over its rivals. Even if it did try to leverage GitHub in some way, there is enough competition that developers could look elsewhere, the Commission said.

“The market investigation confirmed that Microsoft would not have the market power to undermine the open nature of GitHub to the detriment of competing DevOps tools and cloud services,” the European Commission wrote in a press release. “This is because such behaviour would reduce the value of GitHub for developers, who are willing and able to switch to other platforms.”

In June, Microsoft agreed to buy GitHub for $7.5 billion in stock, giving it new inroads to more than 28 million software developers who use the popular software development platform and coding community. It’s the third-largest deal in Microsoft history, behind its $26 billion purchase of LinkedIn and $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype.

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