US FINNISHes Nokia-AlcaLu acquisition waiting period

Serbia and Brazil give acquisition the thumbs' up too, who's next?

The huge Nokia-Alcatel Lucent acquimerger transaction has cleared one of its major hurdles, with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) clearing the merger for takeoff.

Specifically, the two companies have announced – Nokia's post is here – that the DoJ has granted an early termination to the antitrust waiting period in the US.

Size and footprint means there's lots of lawyers to be fed in getting the €15.6 billion acquisition through, with regulators all over the world wanting a chance to demonstrate their importance and diligence. The statement notes that Brazil and Serbia have also recently okayed the takeover.

The two companies are making “good progress with the regulatory approval processes in the remaining relevant jurisdictions”, the statement says. “Both companies will continue to cooperate with the remaining authorities to close their reviews as quickly as possible.”

Nokia shareholders have yet to vote on the acquisition, which the companies hope will yank €900 million out of their combined cost base (read: mass layoffs around the world).

Since Nokia's home is in mobile network infrastructure and Alcatel-Lucent is kicking its goals in the fixed-line business, the product rationalisation process ought not to be horribly savage. ®

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