Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent have confirmed that the two companies are in “advanced talks” and are assessing a full merger. The two companies have have issued the same statement through their respective websites, which implies that Nokia would take over all of Alcatel-Lucent.
Bloomberg had earlier reported that Nokia was preparing to sell off its maps division in order to raise funds and improve its credit rating. The report had also speculated that the Finnish telecommunications company was interested in acquiring a part of Alcatel-Lucent. However, this latest statement seems to indicate that Nokia will take over all of the French network systems provider.
A combined Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent would allow both companies to better compete against Swedish rivals Ericsson, although it is likely that they will also be looking to threats from companies like Huawei.
With this in mind, the merger could potentially hinge on the sale of the maps division; which would provide Nokia with the funds necessary to go through with any potential acquisitions. There are already several groups interested in taking over Nokia’s HERE maps, which provides satnav data to most major automobile makers; including Uber and a group of German automobile manufacturers.