It’s been a long time coming, but it looks like there will be a major new player in the telecom sector is just a couple of weeks. First announced over nine months ago, the new European Telecom giant combining Nokia and Alcatel Lucent will officially launch on January 14th, according to an announcement made by Nokia on Monday. The statement noted that the two firms have now received approval from U.S., French and European antitrust regulators for the merger, and will begin operations as a combined group on January 14th.

Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Corporation (ADR) Set To Merge

Analysts point out that the Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent merger was planned so as to put the new combined entity in the same league as telecom market leaders Ericsson AB of Sweden and Huawei Technologies of China. The new merged business entity is expected to have a total annual revenue of close 25 billion euro ($27.3 billion).

More on final approval of Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent merger

In its statement, Nokia noted that it currently holds 70.52% of Alcatel-Lucent’s share capital (fully diluted basis), based on the preliminary results of its share offer from French regulator Autorite des Marches Financiers.

Nokia said that it plans to reopen its offer for the remaining Alcatel-Lucent securities in the near future. Moreover, if the firm reaches the legally required 95% ownership of Alcatel-Lucent’s stock and convertible bonds, it will “squeeze out” the remaining holdouts to acquire all shares

Of note, Nokia shareholders approved the transaction in mid December of last year. The offer from the Swedish company valued the French telecom firm at close to 15.6 billion euro ($17 billion).

Statement from French regulator

French securities regulator AMF highlighted in a report released over the weekend that the “minimal condition” for Nokia to control at least 50% of shares and voting rights was “satisfied”.

The AMF report noted that “The offer therefore is proceeding positively,” continuing to say the final report was due Tuesday of this week at the latest.