The European Commission approved Motorola's proposed $3.9 billion (£2bn) acquisition of Symbol.

Mobile phone maker Motorola said last September that it would pay US$3.9 billion for Symbol, a leader in portable barcode scanners and customised handheld computers.

The deal expands Motorola's stake in the market for business-oriented mobile devices and, if successful, would be the phone maker's largest acquisition since it bought cable TV-box maker General Instrument in 2000.

The horizontal overlaps between the activities of Motorola and Symbol are limited, the Commission said in a statement. "For all product categories concerned, the new firm would continue to face several strong, effective competitors," it said.

The Commission also analysed the effects of the proposed transaction arising from Symbol's position on the market for data capture and scanning devices, which are incorporated in "ruggedised' mobile computers.

The regulator concluded that alternative and competing sources of supply would continue to exist and that there would be no particular risks of these markets being closed off.