NSN may restructure Mot deal to get Chinese OK

Caroline Gabriel/Rethink Wireless
Nokia Siemens is looking to restructure its $1.2bn acquisition of Motorola Solutions' networking business, in order to make it acceptable to Chinese antitrust authorities.
 
According to unnamed sources who spoke to Bloomberg, NSN wants to end the stalemate that is stopping the deal being closed.
 
To achieve this, the sources said, it could exclude the GSM activities from the transaction, adjusting the price accordingly.
 
That would leave it with the CDMA and Wimax products and with Motorola's LTE platform and IPR. It should address competition concerns, since Motorola's installed base in China is nearly all centered on GSM (apart from its TD-LTE show network for China Mobile). Representatives from NSN and Motorola did not comment.
 
Chinese probes, as well as an outstanding lawsuit brought in the US by Huawei, are the only obstacles to the acquisition, which has received approval from all other relevant competition authorities.
 
However, the deadline for completion was passed last week, and extended by a further 60 days, because of Chinese opposition.
 
NSN sources said they were determined not to walk away from the plan, which would bring it Motorola's customers in the US, including Sprint and Verizon.
 
Last year, NSN was trumped by Ericsson in its bid for the larger US assets of Nortel. The company also has to address the Huawei lawsuit, which seeks to block any transfer of the Chinese firm's IPR and trade secrets to NSN.
 
Motorola gained these when it agreed a 3G reseller deal with Huawei, when it virtually exited the W-CDMA sector in 2006.
 
Huawei has already secured an injunction against such a transfer, though not a block on the whole merger. NSN has said it has no interest in the Huawei secrets, and could exclude that aspect of the Motorola business from the re-engineered deal too.

Commentary

5G and data center-friendly network architectures

Matt Walker / MTN Consulting

Webscale and transmission network operators' interests are aligning as the 5G era dawns

Matt Walker / MTN Consulting

Webscale and transmission network operators' interests are aligning as the 5G era dawns

Rémy Pascal / Analysys Mason

The launch of 5G by South Korean operators serves as a first benchmark for other operators around the world