Finnish giant Nokia (NASDAQ:NOK) just bought Alcatel-Lucent (NASDAQ:ALU) for 15.6 Billion Euros, eyeing suitors for its Here Maps division.

The former mobile manufacturer now Finnish network equipment producer Nokia (NASDAQ:NOK) just bought French Telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent (NASDAQ:ALU) for 15.6 billion euros, which is more than twice the amount Microsoft paid for its phone business. This puts Nokia as a direct rival with market leader Ericsson and Huawei as network equipment suppliers.

Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent are likely to close the deal in the first half of 2016. In addition, Nokia also acquired the famous Bell Laboratories established by Alexander Graham Bell in 1880, but will use Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs name for its R&D activities.

“The combined company will be uniquely positioned to create the foundation of seamless connectivity for people and things wherever they are. This foundation is essential for enabling the next wave of technological change, including the Internet of Things and transition to the cloud. With more than 40,000 R&D employees and spend of €4.7 billion in R&D in 2014, the combined company will be in a position to accelerate development of future technologies including 5G, IP and software-defined networking, cloud, analytics as well as sensors and imaging”, said Nokia in a statement.

The Finnish giant won’t necessarily jump onto the Android bandwagon, as the company currently manufacturing Alcatel smartphones is a joint venture between China’s TCL and Alcatel-Lucent. Nokia also stressed upon the fact that the merger will be headquartered in Finland, though France will be ‘a vibrant center of the combined company’.

Meanwhile, in other related news, Nokia said that it is considering its Here Map business and may sell it off to focus primarily on its network business if it gets the right price. The Finnish giant is reportedly eying potential buyers, including Uber along with a German automaker Consortium, according to Bloomberg.

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