Nokia Siemens' $1.2B Motorola acquisition put on ice, again

Nokia Siemens Networks said its $1.2 billion acquisition of Motorola Solutions' (NYSE:MSI) wireless networking business has been postponed again and is still being reviewed by Chinese antitrust authorities. The delay is the second in three months, and means the deal will not close in the first quarter, as NSN had originally intended.

The deal, first announced in July, has entered phase three of the review process with the Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce in China. Motorola said the review period has been extended for another 60 days. Nokia Siemens spokesman Ben Roome told Bloomberg that the deal needed to be approved by antitrust authorities in all affected markets, and that NSN received approval from every other market. The deal will improve NSN's position in the U.S. market as well as in Japan.

Complicating the deal is Huawei's suit against both Motorola and NSN, filed in January, alleging that the deal would expose Huawei's trade secretes to a competitor. Last month, a federal judge granted Huawei an order that prevents Motorola from transferring the Huawei's intellectual property to Nokia Siemens. Importantly though, the judge did not block the deal from going forward, which Huawei was seeking. 

Motorola had access to Huawei's intellectual property as a result of the reseller arrangement it signed with Huawei in 2000 in which Motorola resold Huawei's wireless networks products--including radio access network and core network products covering UMTS, GSM and other technologies--using the Motorola name. Nokia Siemens has said it "has absolutely no interest in Huawei's trade secrets."

According to research firm Dell'Oro Group, in the fourth quarter Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) led the infrastructure market with 36.9 percent market share, while NSN followed with 21.4 percent and Huawei had 17.9 percent of the market.

For more:
- see this NSN release
- see this Motorola release
- see this Bloomberg article

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