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BT's owners have given their official backing to the firm's intended £12.5 billion takeover of EE.

Some 99.73 per cent of shareholders approved the transaction, and in the process, granted BT's board of directors the authority to allot shares.

This move was widely expected ahead of the firm's general meeting, which took place at 10am at Old Billingsgate in London on Thursday April 30th and saw a 62.8 per cent turnout.

In a separate resolution at the meeting, 99.77 per cent of shareholders approved the buy-back of BT shares from Deutsche Telekom and/or Orange.

The two European operators currently hold a 50 per cent stake each in EE, the broadband provider they formed in 2010 by merging their UK mobile networks.

Shareholder approval for BT's takeover of EE may have been a relative formality, but getting the deal past the competition authorities may be less straightforward.

With a number of BT's rivals opposing the move, the Competition and Markets Authority is carrying out a full review.

Earlier this week, EE Chief Executive Olaf Swantee claimed it could take the whole of 2015 for the regulator to make a decision on the takeover.

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