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 (NASDAQ:GEOY), 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.

link

Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends GeoEye. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.