Schering-Plough moved another step closer to completing its purchase of Akzo Nobel’s drug unit Organon BioSciences after the European Commission gave the nod to the 11 billion-euro deal.

In clearing the acquisition, the EC said it found competition issues that would require Schering-Plough to divest some elements of the combined companies’ veterinary pharmaceuticals business. The company has committed to doing just that, so the Commission has given the transaction its blessing.

Schering-Plough’s move for Organon came as a surprise to some when it was announced back in March, but has been welcomed by analysts who believe it rejuvenates the US-headquartered company’s late-stage pipeline, adding five compounds in Phase III, whilst adding fast-growing oral contraceptive and infertility treatment businesses and reducing its reliance on revenues from its joint venture with Merck & Co for the cholesterol drugs Zetia (ezetimibe) and Vytorin (ezetimibe and simvastatin).

Akzo said in a statement that the EC’s announcement kept the deal on track to complete by the end of the year.