China’s Ministry of Commerce on Monday approved Nokia’s proposed acquisition of French rival Alcatel-Lucent with conditions, almost completing the 15.6 billion euro ($17.6 billion) deal’s antitrust process.

The ministry said the Finnish telecom network equipment maker had agreed to meet certain terms by Dec. 10, mainly relating to the use of wireless telecommunication standards and patent licensing.

The terms were imposed in keeping with China’s anti-monopoly regulation to ensure market competition isn’t harmed by the takeover, it added in a statement on its website.

As part of its talks with China, Nokia in August agreed to create a joint venture, Nokia Shanghai Bell, with China’s state-owned Huaxin.

“We look forward to maintaining our deep commitment to China and playing a key role in the country’s shift towards an innovation-driven economy,” Nokia chief executive Rajeev Suri said in a statement on Monday.

Nokia and Alcatel still need formal approval from the French government, after which Nokia will proceed with its all-share offer. The takeover is expected to close in the first half of 2016.

(Reporting by Paul Carsten and Michael Martina in Beijing, Jussi Rosendahl in Helsinki; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Mark Potter)

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