Regulators in the US have conditionally cleared the merger of mobile operators Vodafone and Airtouch, paving the way for the creation of the world's largest mobile operator next month.
The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) yesterday approved the deal, on condition the companies comply with an agreement to cooperate with US government agencies to resolve national security, law enforcement and public safety issues.
"The Bureau concluded that the merger does not present competitive concerns, and that its approval serves the public interest," the FCC said in a statement.
European regulators approved the deal in April, with the European Commission requiring Vodafone to divest its interest in German operator E-Plus Mobilfunk, because Airtouch has an interest in rival German operator Mannesmann Mobilfunk. (see Newswire 25 May)
Shareholders of both companies have also now approved the deal.
The merger, when completed, will create the world's largest mobile operator with over 29 million customers in 23 countries.
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