Nokia hits back over fraud allegations

Nokia said it will "vigorously" defend itself against allegations that its top executives committed securities fraud by misleading U.S. investors about product delays and price cuts in 2008.

"Nokia has reviewed the allegations contained in the complaint and believes that they are without merit," the company said in a statement. The class-action complaint, which was filed Feb. 5 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that top executives committed securities fraud by making misleading statements between Jan. 24, 2008, and Sept. 5, 2008. The complaint names CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, former CFO Rick Simonson and Kai Oistamo, the head of Nokia's devices business.

The suit, brought on behalf of the City of Roseville Employees' Retirement System, claims that Nokia became aware of production delays in some of its mid-range phones in 2008. However, the complaint alleges that Nokia "hid this fact from investors and instead highlighted the company's expected launch of several new phones." The complaint also alleges Nokia failed to disclose it was losing market share due to price cuts by its competitors and that it was shaving its own handset prices.

It is unclear how long the legal process for the case could take, but a Nokia spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal that it might take years.

For more:
- see this release
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article

Related Articles:
Report: Nokia shaves prices on handsets
Nokia swings back to black, reports smartphone gains in Q4
Nokia to halve next year's smartphone portfolio
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