The government interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS, would likely launch a national security investigation into the proposed $34.6 billion merger of Lucent Technologies Inc. with France’s Alcatel should the two telecommunications equipment companies agree to combine. But the proposed deal is unlikely to be scuttled outright by CFIUS.
The merger would combine U.S. and French companies controlling sensitive military technology at a time when the climate surrounding such cross-border deals has become politically charged, following the firestorm on Capitol Hill that erupted after U.S. government officials approved the purchase of a British terminal port operator by Dubai-controlled DP World. CFIUS approved that deal, though the U.S. portion of the transaction was scuttled by DP World after the uproar in Congress.
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