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Justice Dept. Greenlights GE-Haier Deal

Haier’s proposed $5.4 billion purchase of GE’s appliance business has passed a major hurdle, having received a thumb’s up from the U.S. Department of Justice, the majap maker said.

The Louisville, Ky.-based unit described the OK as a major step toward closing the transaction, which could be completed this summer pending Haier shareholder approval and other possible regulatory reviews.

Related:Why The Haier-GE Marriage Matters

The bid followed a failed $3.3 billion buyout attempt by Sweden’s Electrolux, which faced stiff resistance from regulators fearful of a commercial cooking monopoly. However, Haier’s smaller U.S. presence should make market-share concentration a non-issue this go-around.

GE has been looking to shed its appliance unit for nearly a decade, as chairman/CEO Jeff Immelt turned his attention to the conglomerate’s core industrial divisions.