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But compared with Oracle's hard-fought battle to acquire People Soft, the Symantec-Veritas union has been relatively free of conflict.The boards of both companies consistently supported the merger, and the proposal easily passed review by antitrust regulators.Many investors also disagree with the argument that the companies' markets are steadily merging."They've faced a lot of concern that the markets each serve aren't converging as fast as the companies have said," Mr. A warning about the deal came this month when Glass, Lewis & Company, an advisory service for institutional shareholders, issued a report recommending that investors vote down the merger."History would indicate that such mergers, especially in the technology world, often fall short of expectations," the report said.But a day later, Institutional Shareholder Services, a larger proxy advisory service, issued its own report urging shareholders to approve the merger, saying the deal was likely to reward investors in the long term, given its strategic rationale.Of the 73 percent of outstanding Veritas shares that were voted, 98 percent were cast in favor of the merger.

Shares of Symantec fell 48 cents on Friday, to close at .25, while shares of Veritas declined 46 cents, to close at .81.

The shareholder vote capped six months of campaigning by executives of both companies to convince wary investors that the merger was a necessary response to a rapidly consolidating software industry, the growing threat of Microsoft and the rising costs of technology management. Thompson, Symantec's chief executive and head of the combined company, has said the merger will create a convenient one-stop shop for customers seeking computer security software, which Symantec sells, and data storage software, which Veritas sells.

Those markets, he contends, are already converging.

"There's been a lot of questioning of their rationale."A chief concern among investors, Mr.

Buttigieg said, is that both companies operate in highly competitive markets and could lose ground quickly if management is caught up in the complexities of merging two operations.

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