Report: Google, Samsung press China on conditions for Microsoft/Nokia deal

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Samsung Electronics are prodding Chinese regulators to ensure that once Microsoft's deal for (NASDAQ:MSFT) Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) handset unit closes they won't be forced to pay higher patent licensing fees, according to a Bloomberg report.

The report, citing unnamed government officials familiar with the issue, said Google and Samsung asked China's Ministry of Commerce to set conditions so that once the $7.5 billion deal closes, they and other companies won't have to pay more for access to wireless technology patents that Nokia will hold on to. The companies also are concerned that Microsoft will gain more power over the smartphone market and may abuse its patents, the report said.

Chinese handset vendors Huawei and ZTE, which rely heavily on Google's Android platform for their smartphone sales, also asked for similar conditions, according to the report.

Google and Samsung declined to comment, according to Bloomberg, and Nokia also declined to comment, according to Reuters. "This merger application is currently under MOFCOM's review and we have no further comment," Microsoft spokesperson Joanna Li told Bloomberg.

China's Ministry of Commerce is conducting an anti-monopoly review and is likely to approve the deal, the report said, which would clear the way for the deal to be approved around the world. What remains open is whether Chinese regulators will demand the companies make sure the deal doesn't lead to higher patent fees.

Nokia and Microsoft expect the deal to close by the end of the first quarter. Microsoft won European Union approval for the bid on Dec. 4. As part of the deal Nokia will retain much of its expansive patent portfolio.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article

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