Competition Commission has approved Finnish telecom gear maker Nokia's proposed acquisition of French major Alcatel-Lucent in a deal worth over USD 16 billion.
Giving its green signal, the fair trade regulator said the transaction is not likely to have an adverse impact on competition in India. In April, Nokia had announced the all-stock deal worth 15.6 billion euros (USD 16.6 billion) to acquire Alcatel-Lucent.
While Alcatel operates in both the fixed and mobile infrastructure segments, Nokia is only into the mobile infrastructure segment. Consequently, overlaps are restricted to the mobile infrastructure segment at the broadest level, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said.
With regard to the two companies' operations in India, the CCI said they are largely complementary in nature. "While Nokia is present in the mobile infrastructure segment, Alcatel's India operations mainly relate to fixed line services, with some operations in the mobile infrastructure segment.
There are overlaps within the mobile infrastructure segment. "However, in view of the fact that the proposed combination is unlikely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition in any of the above-mentioned segments," the regulator said in its order dated August 29.
After examining the bidding information provided by the two companies for 2012-2015 period, CCI said there were no instances in which these entities were the only bidders. There were several instances of post bid negotiations with the successful bidder, which is also indicative of buyer power, it added. Further, Nokia and Alcatel do not appear to be close competitors in India considering the number of overlapping tenders participated by them, CCI said.