After the recommendation by a Treasury Department-led interagency group President Bush approved the merger of giant French telecom vendor Alcatel SA and Lucent Technologies Inc., The $14 billion deal is going to close next week. The last but not least step to the companies' merger process was getting the White House approval which took the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States a two-stage, 75-day security review on the Alcatel-Lucent transaction.
The White House stated: “With support from the intelligence community, CFIUS's detailed analysis took into account all relevant national security factors, including but not limited to the scope of Lucent's operations and its work with state, local and federal government agencies, the globalizing nature of the telecommunications industry, the important research and development being conducted at Lucent's Bell Laboratories, and those factors enumerated in Exon-Florio (legislation)”.
White House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) stated Nov. 14 that “the process to evaluate the national security implications of the merger between Alcatel and Lucent is incomplete at this point”, as he wanted to gather additional information on the merger.
First Hunter planned an open hearing from Lucent Chief Executive Officer, Alcatel Chief Operating Officer Mike but later changed everything to a brief meeting. There are speculations that Hunter might have been pressured by the White House to change his point of view regarding the Alcatel-Lucent merger.