The Competition and Markets Authority has cleared the proposed £780m merger of Marston’s and Carlsberg’s brewing operations.

A phase 1 investigation was launched in August following concerns by CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) that the JV would prompt “market foreclosure for small brewers, which will reduce choice for beer drinkers and pub-goers”, but the CMA approval will see it complete at the end of this month.

The companies agreed the deal in May to merge Marston’s brewing arm with Carlsberg’s UK division in a joint venture.

The proposed merger will see Marston’s take a 40% stake in the newly created Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company as well as a cash payment of up to £273m.

Carlsberg UK, which is valued at £200m, will receive a 60% stake and the controlling interest.