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Bush Approves Alcatel Lucent

Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) and Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) announced late Friday night that they have received final approval for their merger from U.S. President George W Bush and expect to complete their merger on November 30.

The duo say they have "received approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), under provisions of the Exon-Florio amendment, to proceed with their proposed merger transaction."

A statement from the companies noted:
    CFIUS prepared a recommendation on the merger transaction to the President of the United States in the final phase of the approval process and the President has accepted the CFIUS recommendation that he not suspend or prohibit the proposed merger transaction, provided that, in time periods specified, the companies execute a National Security Agreement and Special Security Agreement to which they have agreed with U.S. government agencies. Alcatel and Lucent will execute within the specified time periods the National Security Agreement and Special Security Agreement to which they have previously agreed with U.S. government agencies.
Security concerns have figured prominently in the past few weeks, with both Alcatel and Lucent having to provide testimony to the House Armed Services Committee in Washington early last week. (See Alcatel, Lucent Face Security Grilling and Alcatel Lucent: Nearly There.)

The merger, which will create a giant telecom equipment vendor with annual revenues in excess of $25 billion, was first announced in April. The merged company will be called Alcatel Lucent and be based in Paris. Alcatel's current CEO Serge Tchuruk will be chairman, while Lucent's current CEO, Pat Russo, will be the merged company's chief executive officer. (See Alcatel, Lucent Seal Deal and Alcatel/Lucent Decide on New Name.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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