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Japan companies say mergers held up by regulators in mainland China

TOKYO -- Sony and Olympus said Friday their planned medical device merger has been delayed until next year, with reports and some firms saying it was the latest corporate marriage held up by Chinese regulators.

Firms in Japan, which is embroiled in a territorial row with Beijing, have launched a string of mergers and acquisitions including blockbuster deals such as Softbank's US$20 billion takeover of U.S.-based Sprint Nextel.

But some are blaming delays in completing the deals due to holdups by China's antitrust regulators, with home builder Daiwa House Industry saying it is delaying a planned 50-billion-yen (US$595 million) purchase of contractor Fujita.

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