On Wednesday, earth-imaging specialist DigitalGlobe (NYSE: DGI ) announced that it has received antitrust clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice for its purchase of rival orbiting photographer GeoEye (UNKNOWN: GEOY.DL ) , scheduled to close by Jan. 31.
A merger between the two companies was agreed to on July 23, 2012, in a deal valued at $900 million. Assuming regulatory approvals from the Federal Communications Commission and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration permit the merger to proceed, the combined satellite-imagery company will be the largest of its kind in the world, boasting more than $750 million in combined annual revenue, and profits in excess of $40 million. DigitalGlobe CEO Jeff Tarr will lead the combined company.
Shares of DigitalGlobe gained 5% on the news, rising to $28.56 as of this writing, while shares of GeoEye rocketed 7.4% to $36.51.