EC clears way for Grey deal

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[New York] The European Commission approved WPP Group's acquisition of Grey Global Group, clearing the way for Grey shareholders to vote on the $1.6 billion sale. WPP said it expects to complete the acquisition in early March. WPP, the No. 2 advertising holding company, agreed Sept. 11 to buy Grey, the industry's No. 7 firm. The deal hit an unexpected roadblock Nov. 22 when the European Union's regulatory body asked for additional information about the European media buying clout of the combined WPP (MindShare and Mediaedge:cia) and Grey ( MediaCom). WPP refiled its merger application Dec. 10, and the commission ruled Jan. 24 that the merger "would not significantly impede effective competition." QwikFIND aaq26z
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