The EU has given the green light to the milk powder venture between French dairy groups Sodiaal and Entremont Alliance.

The European Commission said the deal "would not significantly impede competition in the common market".

Sodiaal and Entremont Alliance agreed in July to integrate their operations producing baby food formulas, elaborated milk ingredients and nutritional and dietetic products.

The companies' sites in Doullens in the north of France and Montauban, in the south-west of the country, will be the production units for the venture.

Sodiaal and Entremont Alliance are already partners in the production of milk fats and butter but said this new tie-up would help them face the challenges thrown up by recent reform of the EU dairy sector.