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October 25, 2014

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Regulators clear Disney purchase of Lucasfilm

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Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP

In this May 20, 2011, file photo, Disney CEO Robert Iger, left, and Star Wars creator George Lucas, third from right, talk to the Star Wars movie character Darth Vader, center, onstage at the Disney Hollywood Studios theme park during the re-opening celebration of the Star Tours motion simulation ride in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Disney announced on Oct. 30, 2012, that it would buy Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion and resume making “Star Wars” movies, starting with Episode 7 in 2015.

WASHINGTON — Federal antitrust regulators have cleared Disney's $4 billion deal to buy Lucasfilm, the filmmaking empire behind the "Star Wars" franchise.

Notice of the clearance was issued Tuesday.

Representatives for The Walt Disney Co. and Lucasfilm Ltd. did not immediately respond to requests for comment. When the deal was announced in October, no formal closing date was announced.

The purchase stoked "Star Wars" fans because along with the surprise announcement, Disney said it would make sequels to the six-part series with plans to release the first in the next trilogy, Episode 7, in 2015.

Lucasfilm founder George Lucas is to receive about half of the $4.05 billion purchase price in cash and half in newly issued Disney shares. He has said he'd donate much of it to charity.

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