Two of the world’s biggest telecoms manufacturers are to merge, creating a Paris-based conglomerate with global sales of over 21 billion euros. The French company Alcatel has agreed to join forces with the US firm Lucent Technologies. The move will create the world’s biggest telephone landline company and the second biggest overall provider.The new conglomerate, which is yet to be named, will be based in Paris. Experts say the transatlantic merger will allow Alcatel and Lucent to pool research and development resources and gain a foothold in rival markets. Alain Crouzet, a financial analyst, said: “It’s a good move, because both companies struggled after the burst of the dotcom bubble. Now they are number two in the world rankings thanks to this merger.” The integration has raised concerns about security. Lucent does work for the US government, while Alcatel wants to increase its share in a French electronics group which does work for the state.