The European Commission has approved Nokia’s acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.

It said the transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the two vendors are not close competitors and since a number of strong global competitors will remain active after the transaction.

Despite the merged entity having combined market shares around or above 30 percent for several specific types of equipment, the Commission said the overlaps between the two companies' activities are “effectively limited”.

It also noted that there are “several other strong players”, including Ericsson and Huawei, and said it was expecting Samsung to gain market share.

The Korea-based smartphone manufacturer is “expected to play a more significant role in the near future”, the Commission said, particularly in 4G and 5G tech.

Further, the tie up would not make it harder for new or small players to enter and expand in the market, nor significantly change the market structure to make coordination between other vendors easier, according to the Commission.

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) waved the deal through last month.

Nokia confirmed that it has received further antitrust clearances from Albania, Canada, Colombia and Russia.

Authorities in Brazil and Serbia have previously given their approval.

The Finland-based vendor’s shareholders still have to approve the deal.

[Exclusive: I’ve learned the lessons and we’re going to do this our way, says Nokia CEO]

Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent confirmed plans to merge in April in a €15.6 billion deal.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2016.

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