The UK government has ruled that it will allow the Belgian brewing conglomerate, Interbrew, to keep Bass Brewers if it disposes of the Carling beer business as it had undertaken.

Interbrew, the world's second-biggest brewer, bought Bass in 2000 for £2.3 billion ($3.3 billion dollars) but the deal was blocked by UK competition authorities on the grounds that it would leave Interbrew with about one third of the British beer market.

Interbrew announced last December that it planned to sell Carling to US group, Coors, for £1.2 billion, a move that would allow it to keep Bass.

Having taken advice from the director general of the Office of Fair Trading, UK competition minister, Melanie Johnson, announced she had decided to accept Interbrew's undertakings and give the takeover the green light.