VODAFONE has received regulatory clearance in the US for the £84 billion disposal of its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless.

The Federal Communications Commission has given the go ahead for the deal, one of the largest in corporate history, with Verizon Communications to move forward. Both sets of shareholders have still to formally approve the deal.

Vodafone has said it will return £54bn to shareholders of which around £22bn will go to those in the UK.

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Part of the money will go towards investment in high speed 4G mobile phone networks and the laying of fibre optic cables.

Vodafone said the bumper deal and the return to shareholders are now expected to complete in the first quarter of next year.

Shares closed up 1.15p at 226.05p