The proposed merger of USA Today publisher Gannett with newspaper giant New Media Investments has cleared an antitrust review by the Department of Justice, according to an SEC filing.

The $1.4 billion cash-and-stock deal is set to create the nation’s biggest newspaper company. Gannett, already the nation’s largest newspaper chain by circulation, will get even bigger when it combines with New Media’s Gatehouse Media, which owns nearly 150 small-market dailies plus hundreds more weeklies and shoppers.

The combined companies are set to be rebranded under the Gannett name and retain Gannett’s headquarters in McLean, Virginia.

“We are pleased to report that the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has completed its review of New Media’s proposed acquisition of Gannett,” Gannett’s new chief executive, Paul Bascobert, said in a memo that was disclosed in a late Wednesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “As a result, the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act has expired, and we have domestic antitrust clearance for the merger.”

He said he expects the deal to close by the end of 2019, although it still has to be cleared by the European Commission and needs approval from both companies’ shareholders.

Some investors apparently remain skittish. In trading Thursday after the SEC filing, Gannett’s stock dipped 2.2 percent to close at $10.73 and New Media’s dropped 6.1 percent to close at $8.79.

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