The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has waved through Nokia’s merger with Alcatel-Lucent after prematurely terminating the antitrust waiting period.

Under US law, parties to large mergers and acquisitions are required to file a pre-merger notification and wait for government review.

Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia said the decision by the DoJ to terminate the waiting period early marked an “important step” for moving the pending transaction forward.

They have already obtained antitrust clearances in Brazil and Serbia. 

Given the geographical scope of the two companies, many other regulators around the world have to give their approval.

Nokia shareholders are also yet to approve the deal, after A-L’s French Group Committee gave its approval for the company’s tie-up with Nokia earlier this month.

The two companies hope to close the €15.6 billion deal in the first half of 2016.

A statement from the vendors read: “The parties continue to make good progress with the regulatory approval processes in the remaining relevant jurisdictions.

“Both companies will continue to cooperate with the remaining authorities to close their reviews as quickly as possible.”

Nokia Chief Executive Rajeev Suri told European Communications last month that A-L is going to have to fit in with his and his company’s way of doing things if the merger is going to work.

Meanwhile, Suri’s counterpart at A-L, Michel Combes, is expected to leave the company is expected to leave the company early next year.

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