The European Union has approved the 15.6 billion-euro ($17 billion) acquisition of ailing French telecom company Alcatel-Lucent by Finland's Nokia Corporation following an investigation into whether the deal broke competition rules.

The EU's executive Commission said Friday that there was enough difference between the two firms to not raise major competition concerns.

The Commission said the overlap between the two is very limited with Nokia being a major player in Europe while Alcatel-Lucent is a much bigger player in North America.

The deal puts Nokia among the global market leaders in networks.