Nokia wins French approval for Alcatel-Lucent merger

Nokia has secured approval from French regulators for its plan to merge with Alcatel-Lucent after committing to retaining a strong R&D presence in the nation following the combination.

Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri and French minister of economy, industry and digital affairs Emmanuel Macron have reached an agreement covering Alcatel-Lucent’s future in France after it is folded into Nokia’s operations.

France will provide a leading role in the combined company’s R&D operations, with Nokia intending to build on Alcatel-Lucent’s competencies in the country and its strong engagement with France’s technology ecosystem, Nokia announced.

Nokia said it plans to take advantage of Alcatel-Lucent’s existing R&D capabilities in the nation, and invest further in the digital innovation ecosystem in the nation.

To achieve this, Nokia plans to set up a roughly €100 million ($111.7 million) long-term investment fund focused mainly on the IoT, software security and SDN.

Nokia has also pledged to support the development of the overall telecom ecosystem in France and ensure the continuity of Alcatel-Lucent’s current R&D initiatives.

The company has committed to maintaining employment levels in France to be consistent with the targets laid out in the Alcatel-Lucent shift plan for at least two years after the completion of the planned transaction. The R&D employment level will meanwhile be retained for at least four years.

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