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When Nokia revealed plans to buy France’s Alcatel-Lucent in a $16.6 billion transaction back in April, the telecom deal promised to be one of the biggest in recent times. Today, the acquisition moved a step closer with the news that the Finnish tech titan had received all necessary regulatory approvals to seal the deal.

Two days ago, Nokia received clearance from China’s Ministry of Commerce, and the final piece of the puzzle lay with the French Ministry of Economy (MINEFI), who have now given the go-ahead. Nokia’s next step will be to file the Exchange Offer in France and in the U.S., after which the transaction will still be subject to approval from shareholders. The exchange offer is expected to close in early 2016.

The deal will create a new tech giant in Europe, and together the two companies say they will build “next-generation network technology and services, with the scope to create seamless connectivity for people and things wherever they are.”


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