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WASHINGTON (AP) - 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.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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