Decision clears path for CCE, MCD deal.

The Office of Fair Trading has approved Clear Channel Entertainment's planned acquisition of rival Mean Fiddler Music Group.

A spokesperson for the regulatory body confirms that it cleared the takeover proposal on July 17. No further comment was offered.

The case was referred to the OFT earlier this year, when MFMG's directors accepted the terms of a buyout offered by CCE and Irish promoter MCD Productions.

The deal, arranged through CCE and MCD's investment vehicle Hamsard, would value MFMG at roughly £37.9 million ($71.1 million), of which MFMG chairman Vince Power stands to collect about £13 million ($25 million).

The OFT's decision clears the most significant regulatory hurdle in the transaction. In green-lighting the deal, the OFT has decided that the resulting merged company would not result in "a substantial lessening of competition" in the concerts market.

When completed, the purchase will grant CCE a considerable presence in the British venues and touring market, where MFMG's interests range from managing the Astoria and Forum venues in London to organizing the annual Glastonbury Festival, which begins Friday (June 24).

CCE owns, manages or consults on more than 25 European outdoor festivals, including the Isle of Wight in Britain, Werchter Festival in Belgium and London's inaugural Wireless Festival, which will coincide with Glastonbury.