The European Commission Friday approved the planned sale of AOL LLC’s U.K. Internet access business to Carphone Warehouse Group PLC (CPW) of the U.K. The deal follows recent similar sell-offs in Germany and France.

The Commission said that its month-long examination of the proposed transaction showed that in the sectors where the companies’ activities overlap, Internet access services and fixed-line telephony services, the combined entity’s share of the relevant market “would not give rise to competition concerns as the new firm would continue to face effective competitive pressure from other market participants.”

The Commission is the European Union’s regulatory and executive branch.

Time Warner Inc., AOL’s owner, has been retreating from the Internet access business in Europe, where its subscriber numbers are declining.

AOL company has about 5.9 million customers for its three European divisions, in the U.K., France and Germany. In September it agreed to sell its French operation to Neuf Cegetel SA for