WASHINGTON, June 23 (UPI) -- U.S. regulators have unanimously OK'd a merger of the nation's second and third largest tobacco companies.
Under terms of the $3 billion deal, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings will buy Brown & Williamson Tobacco, the U.S. unit of British American Tobacco.
Reynolds is the second-largest U.S. cigarette firm, Brown & Williamson the third largest.
The 4-0 vote by the Federal Trade Commission means that the newly created Reynolds American will own about 30 percent of the U.S. cigarette market, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Reynolds makes Camel, Winston, Salem and Doral; Brown & Williamson makes Kool, Pall Mall, Lucky Strike and Misty.
Market leader Philip Morris USA sells about half of all cigarettes in the United States, including Marlboro, which accounts for 40 percent of all U.S. cigarette sales.