Image: Months after Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology stunned the education-technology world by announcing they would sell the nonprofit online platform they created to a technology giant, the merger of the two entities, 2U and edX, became final today.

Leaders of the two companies said the combination would offer a huge range of educational opportunities and become “the most important platform company” in education.

The road to this moment had its bumps. Many academics who believed in edX’s nonprofit mission to expand access to learning argued that selling it to a for-profit company would inevitably undermine that calling, and some of those academics suggested they might flee. (Some of edX’s original investors and dues-paying university partners also had more practical concerns about not getting a cut of the $800 million that 2U agreed to pay Harvard and MIT for edX.)

After much discussion and negotiation, the leaders of 2U and edX say

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