Universal Music Group cleared the final hurdle in its acquisition of V2 Music Group when Britain's Office Of Fair Trading said today it would not refer the buyout to the Competition Commission.

In a brief statement issued on its Web site, the OFT said it had cleared the deal, and has decided not to refer to the CC under the provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002. The full text of the regulator's decision will be made available shortly.

"We are pleased that the Office of Fair Trading has cleared our purchase of the V2 Music Group, as we had anticipated," UMG said in a statement today. "Efforts to portray this acquisition as anti-competitive were always without merit. Now we look forward to working with V2 and Cooperative Music artists, labels and staff."

UMG, through its Centenary Music Holdings company, struck a deal Aug. 10 to buy V2 from Morgan Stanley.

As previously reported, UMG has begun to integrate V2. The British arm of the former indie will be aligned with Mercury Records under Mercury U.K. president Jason Iley. UMG has also vowed to continue the Co-operative Music pan-European label-licensing network, which was established in-house by V2 in late 2005 and represents such labels as Wichita, Bella Union and City Slang.

Indies' trade body AIM says it issued a submission to the OFT during the summer in which it criticised UMG's "creeping dominance" of the U.K. recorded music market, citing the V2 deal in its report.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print