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The European Commission has approved AT&T’s $85bn takeover of Time Warner, meaning that the US telecoms company has cleared one of the smaller hurdles in its attempts to seal the deal, which was announced last year.

Bob Quinn, head of external and legislative affairs at AT&T, said: “This is an important approval from a highly respected authority. The global clearance process is on track and we look forward to creating a company that will lead the next wave of innovation in the media and telecommunications industries.”

The main obstacle now for the two American companies is the Department of Justice, which is mulling the impact of the enormous telecoms-media tie-up in the US.

The companies said they expect to close the transaction by the end of 2017.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

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