THE WRAP: NSN-Moto foiled again

John C. Tanner
28 Jan 2011

It was a week full of deals, clashes and shakeups as Huawei halted the NSN-Moto deal, Eric Schmidt stepped down as Google chief and Vodafone and Essar argued over how to end their JV.

Just when it appeared Nokia Siemens Networks was about to finally close its $1.2 billion acquisition of Motorola’s infrastructure business, Huawei Technologies won a preliminary injunction blocking the deal.

Huawei claims the assets might involve some of its intellectual property that Moto acquired via a decade-old co-operation deal. Moto says the lawsuit is “without merit”.

Google upstaged its Q4 results announcement this week by revealing that Eric Schmidt is to step down from his CEO post to focus on his role as executive chairman. Co-founder Larry Page will take over as chief executive in April.

In India, Vodafone and Indian partner Essar Group were at loggerheads over the latter's plan to exit the Vodafone Essar joint venture by merging two business units including Essar Telecom Holding.

Vodafone claims the merger could artificially inflate the valuation of the venture and thus affect the price it pays for a buyout. Essar claims Vodafone wants to force it out of the JV and own it all at an artificially low value.

On a more amicable note,Telstra and PCCW announced plans to restructure their subsea cable joint venture, Reach. Telstra expects an accounting gain of up to A$150 million ($149.7 million) as a result of the restructure, which involves splitting the majority of the JV's international assets between the operators.

In 4G news for the week, SK Telecom revealed its LTE vendor partners: Samsung, LG-Ericsson and NSN, all of which will supply base stations for the network. Samsung and LG-Ericsson will also provide switches.

Meanwhile, CSL CMO Mark Liversidge warned cellcos not to undervalue LTE at the start the way they did with 3G services.

Speaking at Management World Asia this week, Liversidge said CSL was deliberately keeping its LTE offering low-key because “we're very nervous about our services, which required major capital expenditure, being devalued before given a chance to take off."

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