EC is satisfied £11.2bn takeover won’t harm competition in the telecoms network equipment market
The European Commission (EC) has given its blessing to Nokia’s £11.2 billion takeover of French rival Alcatel-Lucent after being satisfied the merger would not distort competition in the telecoms network equipment market.
Despite the two firms having combined market shares above 30 percent for several specific types of equipment, the EC did not believe there was much overlap as Nokia is strong in Europe and Alcatel-Lucent has a greater presence in North America.
The EC also noted the presence of strong competitors in the form of Huawei, Ericsson and ZTE, with Samsung likely to become a major force in the future. Similarly, the commission did not believe the deal would make it more difficult for new entrants in the market.
“The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent by Nokia,” said the EC. “The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the parties are not close competitors and since a number of strong global competitors will remain active after the transaction.”
A merger between the two firms had long been mooted and it is hoped the new Nokia can become a European networking giant better equipped to compete with rivals and aid telecom firms and large enterprises cope with fixed, mobile, cloud and IoT growth.
Nokia hopes to complete the transaction early next year if it clears all of the regulatory hurdles as it puts all of its eggs firmly in one network basket following the sale of its devices business to Microsoft and the expected offloading of HERE Maps.
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