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FTC unopposed to Nortel-Bay deal

The waiting period for the agency's ruling, imposed by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, expires without opposition.

Federal Trade Commission regulators will not oppose the pending merger of Bay Networks and Nortel, the companies said today.

Regulators are charged with reviewing mergers and acquisitions to determine whether they violate antitrust laws, keeping in mind the size of the deal and the market shares of the companies involved. In the case of the Nortel-Bay proposal, the waiting period for an FTC ruling, imposed by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, expired without opposition from the agency.

Nortel announced its intentions to acquire Bay in a stock transaction last month. At the time, the deal was valued at $9.1 billion

Bay's shareholders will vote on the proposed merger August 28. Assuming they vote in favor of the combination, the deal is expected to close during the third quarter.

The merger would mark the largest voice and data convergence deal to date. Nortel brings its telecommunications to the table, while Bay offers the data networks. Other major players from both the telco and data network camps are rumored to be kicking the tires on similar convergence deals.