EU clears Alcatel-Lucent merger

European Union regulators cleared a proposed $13.4 billion merger between French telecom equipment maker Alcatel and Lucent Technologies, an Associated Press report said.

The report said the European Commission said in a statement that the merger's main impact on competition would be in the supply of optical networking equipment and broadband access solutions.

However, sufficient competition in both areas will remain after the merger and powerful telephone companies would be able to ensure that the merged Alcatel-Lucent doesn't enjoy overwhelming marketplace power, the Commission said.

Alcatel, based in Paris, has annual sales of about 13 billion euros ($16.4 billion) and 58,000 employees. The combined company is expected to earn about 21 billion euros ($26.5 billion) in annual revenue.

The two companies said they expect to complete their merger before January 2007.