The European Commission gave the green-light to Nokia’s proposed multi-billion dollar acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, stating that the deal “would not raise competition concerns”.
This is because “the parties are not close competitors and since a number of strong global competitors will remain active after the transaction”, it continued.
The regulator said that although the merged businesses have combined market shares around or above 30 per cent for several specific types of equipment, the overlaps between the two companies are limited.
“Indeed, Nokia has a strong presence in the European Economic Area, where Alcatel-Lucent is a small player, and conversely Alcatel-Lucent has a strong presence in North America, where Nokia’s activities are rather limited,” it observed.
The company also noted that there are several other strong players in the infrastructure space, notably Ericsson and Huawei. And “although ZTE and Samsung currently have small market shares, the Commission considered that those market shares do not fully reflect the competitive importance of their offerings”, it continued.
It also said a combination would not make it harder for new or small players to enter and expand in the market.
Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent are in the process of securing approvals worldwide, having already passed some notable milestones.
The Finnish company has already revealed antitrust clearances in Brazil and Serbia, as well as the expiry of an antitrust review period in the US.
It confirmed today that it has received further clearances from Albania, Canada, Colombia and Russia, and that “both companies will continue to cooperate with the remaining authorities to close their reviews as quickly as possible”.
The transaction remains subject to approval by Nokia shareholders, Nokia holding more than 50 per cent of the share capital of Alcatel-Lucent on a fully diluted basis on completion of the public exchange offer, receipt of other regulatory approvals, and other customary conditions.
Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent have said that the transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2016.