Japanese electronics maker Panasonic Corp <6752.T> gained conditional approval from European Union antitrust regulators on Tuesday for its bid to acquire smaller rival Sanyo Electric Co Ltd <6764.T>.

The European Commission, the competition watchdog of the 27-nation European Union, said in a statement that the approval was on condition that Panasonic divest certain battery production facilities in markets where the Commission had identified competition concerns.

In view of the remedies offered, I am satisfied that competition will remain vigorous after the merger and that purchasers of batteries will continue to benefit from choice and competitive prices, EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said.

(Reporting by Bate Felix)