TV3's planned takeover of Channel 6 passed the first regulatory hurdle yesterday when the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) cleared the €10m deal.
The green light was given after a specially convened meeting of a board subcommittee. However TV3 still needs approval from the Competition Authority to complete the deal.
TV3 chief executive David McRedmond yesterday said he was "delighted" the BCI had approved the merger, adding that he didn't expect any problems for the Competition Authority.
A spokeswoman for the Competition Authority, which examines all media mergers, confirmed the watchdog had been notified of the proposed deal on July 25.
The authority then has four weeks to examine the deal under an preliminary probe, known as a Phase 1 investigation.
After that, the deal can either be approved or can be sent forward for a more extensive Phase 2 investigation, which can take three months.
Since the BCI cleared the deal with no issues, the Competition Authority probe is expected to return a definitive verdict before the end of August instead of opting for a Phase 2.
If it is allowed to takeover Channel 6, TV3 says it is planning to add substantial Irish coverage to the fledgling station's largely American line-up.
Plans to move Channel 6 to TV3's Ballymount base are also on the drawing board.