Shares of EMC (EMC) rose in morning trading after its proposed acquisition by Dell Inc. received regulatory approval from the European Union's executive body and after the information management company announced an expansion of its all-flash storage portfolio.

EU CLEARANCE: The European Commission said that it approved Dell's proposed takeover of EMC without asking for conditions. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that she was "pleased" to approve the tie-up and made sure that "there would be no adverse effects on customers." The transaction is still awaiting approval by EMC's shareholders and regulatory clearance in certain other jurisdictions.

ALL-FLASH EXPANSION: Separately, EMC said that it was making "major additions" to its all-flash storage solutions, including announcing its new VMAX All Flash, which the company called the "first-to-market all-flash storage array to natively support, block, file, open systems and mainframe." The company also announced the DSSD D5 array, its new "Rack-Scale Flash" which EMC said will deliver "an order of magnitude improvement" in performance, latency, and bandwidth. EMC added that it expects all storage used for production applications will be flash-based by 2020.

STREET RESEARCH: UBS analyst Steven Milunovich said that the announcement of EMC's new all-flash storage solutions is "another nail in the coffin" for Hard Disk Drives, or HDDs, as he believes that higher flash drive density, lower failure rates, reduced power consumption, and improved total cost of ownership could push HDDs out of the enterprise space faster than previously anticipated. He also said the announcement is a negative development for other all-flash array, or AFA, vendors, particularly Pure Storage (PSTG) - Get Report . Milunovich added that the upside of recently announced or acquired products by Nimble Storage (NMBL) and NetApp (NTAP) - Get Report are also reduced by EMC's new DSSD D5. The analyst maintained a Buy rating and $30 price target on EMC.

OTHERS TO WATCH: Western Digital (WDC) - Get Report and Seagate (STX) - Get Report are makers of Hard Disk Drives.

PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, EMC was up 1.1% to $26.32, Pure Storage gained 3.25% to $13.67, Nimble Storage was flat at $7.54 and NetApp slid 0.6% to $24.97.

Reporting by Sam Martinelli.

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