Shareholders approved the merger of Veritas and Symantec on Friday, clearing the way for one of the largest software mergers ever.

There was some question whether Symantec shareholders would go for the deal, with Symantec's stock off more than 30 percent since the deal was announced in December. But support from the influential Institutional Shareholder Services a week before the vote proved pivotal, and shareholders of both companies voted overwhelmingly in favor of the merger between the security and storage software giants.

The deal was worth $13.5 billion at the time it was announced, but because of the decline in shares of both companies, the final price may be just under $10.3 billion, roughly equal to the price Oracle paid for PeopleSoft.

The merger may have also benefited from its timeliness. Since it was first announced, several high-profile data security breaches have raised awareness of storage security and spurred efforts to craft a national data privacy law. Just last week, Network Appliance added to the growing convergence of storage and security with a $272 million offer for data encryption specialist Decru.

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