The European Union on Tuesday approved Sanofi-Synthelabo's €51 billion ($60.6 billion) cash and shares takeover bid for Franco-German rival Aventis. European regulators said they had no reason to investigate the role of the French government after it frightened off competition for Aventis from Swiss competitor Novartis. The French Government played a key role in bringing Sanofi and Aventis to the negotiating table on Sunday night, in a move that induced Sanofi to increase its offer by 14 percent. "The Commission has authorized, under the Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Aventis by subject to a number of conditions intended to safeguard competition and hence the interests of European consumers on a number of markets," a commission statement said. The transaction, which will create one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, raised serious doubts that competition might be reduced. But the commission statement added, "Sanofi was able to allay these doubts by offering to sell or to grant licences for a series of pharmaceutical products."