The European competition authority has cleared the takeover of UK cider maker HP Bulmers by brewer Scottish & Newcastle.

In a statement, the European Commission said the deal - worth £278m - "does not give rise to any serious competition concerns, as the two companies' activities present only minor overlaps."

The EC said: "The only EU country where the transaction will lead to overlaps is the UK, where S&N and The Beer Seller are both present in the wholesaling of beer and cider to the on-trade sector. But neither the overlap nor the existing vertical relationships pertaining to the distribution of Bulmer's cider through S&N distribution channels raised any serious competition concerns.

Scottish & Newcastle announced towards the end of last month that it had gained 78.5% of the shares in Bulmer, by the second closing date for its recommended takeover bid of June 19.

S&N said it had received acceptances for 87.7% of first preference shares and acceptances for 93.2% of second preference shares.