The proposed acquisition of Spanish lender Banco Popular Espanol by Banco Santander has secured the go-ahead from European Commission.
The commission greenlighted the deal after carrying out a probe into the impact of the acquisition and finding that it would not lead to competition concerns in the European Economic Area.
Both the banks offer commercial, retail investment and wholesale banking services alongside insurance services in Spain and Portugal.
The deal was particularly investigated for its effect on retail and corporate banking, leasing, factoring and the provision of ATM services in the two markets.
“The parties’ combined market shares are generally limited (below 25%) and strong competitors will remain in all affected markets,” the commission said in a statement.
The acquisition was announced in June 2017 following a significant deterioration in the liquidity position of Banco Popular. Santander paid a nominal value of €1 for the deal and last month launched a €7.1bn rights issue to support the acquisition.