While the Alcatel-Lucent tie-up makes a lot of sense on paper, creating an integrated company in high-tech manufacturing is tricky business. Throw in the cross-border and cultural compatibility issues, and this looks to be at least as steep a climb as the HP-Compaq merger. I hope it works out better than that, but both companies are going to have to be very, very focused on executing their integration plan.
I know, that seems obvious - every company going through a merger should be focused on merger integration. However, big companies can't always get out of their own ways, and when the realities of quarterly results, competition and internecine fighting start kicking in, that focus can be lost. Some consolidating mergers can absorb these effects and still succeed - this one can't.