Google,Samsung ask China to limit Microsoft-Nokia deal: Bloomberg

Mon Mar 3, 2014 7:08am EST

The Google signage is seen at the company's offices in New York January 8, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The Google signage is seen at the company's offices in New York January 8, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Kelly

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(Reuters) - Google Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd have asked Chinese regulators to ensure that Microsoft Corp's bid to acquire Nokia Oyj's phone business did not lead to higher licensing fees on patents that remain with the Finnish company, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

The companies joined Chinese mobile phone makers Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp in voicing concerns about Microsoft gaining more power in the smartphone market, the report said, citing two government officials familiar with the matter.

The companies have asked the regulators to set conditions on the deal, the officials said. (r.reuters.com/syp37v)

China's Ministry of Commerce is conducting an anti-monopoly review and is likely to approve the deal, the officials told Bloomberg. European Union antitrust regulators approved the acquisition without conditions in December.

Samsung and Google did not respond to Reuters requests for comment. Nokia declined to comment.

(Reporting By Lehar Maan in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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Comments (3)
ratkutti wrote:
Someone is burning, someone is afraid.

Mar 03, 2014 8:04am EST  --  Report as abuse
tmc wrote:
Really? Be a patent troll; support patent trolling; don’t support patent trolling… seems corporate America just can’t seem to figure this one out.

Mar 03, 2014 8:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
SLks wrote:
China have their patent courts and laws, they should be the institutions responsible for adjudicating patent issues…so far this issue is moot as there are no such patent dispute as yet, you cannot in advance block someone from doing what you “expect” this is ludicrous.

The ministry of commerce’s only purview is anti-trust, and in nokia’s case this is clearly a non-issue. If nokia is leaving the smartphone industry entirely how does this constitute a “dominant monopolistic power” per Mofcom’s own definition? With virtually no market share at all in china, neither nokia now or msft in future is dominant nor do they have a monopoly. Google, Samsung, and Android however do have such monopolistic pricing power as they constitute easily over 75% of the market and in some places approaches 90%. If the Chinese Mofcom listen to these hypocrites, It would in effect be giving in to the “thieves” asking the court to ban homeowners from using locks on their front doors….China would make itself the laughing stock of regulatory legitimacy.

For people’s information. Patents ARE a monopolistic grant by the government, intentionally so for a limited period of time. The reason governments, including China does this is in order to encourage innovation (else nobody would bother to invent anything new). Nokia has spent upwards of $60 Billion over the last 2 decades in R&D for their technology that virtually created the industry. It is the height of injustice to now try and take away their intellectual property rights without due compensation.

China has its own IP courts, let them deal with it when/if the IP issue ever comes up. China has its own IP suits and Chinese courts will deal with this their jurisdiction. The Chinese ministry of justice DOES NOT have the jurisdiction or legal right to interfere in this issue.

The only question before them is whether this deal increases or decreases competitive competition. Seeing how much the DOMINANT industry players (i.e., Android manufacturers and Google) is so fearful of the resulting INCREASED competition, China’s MOFCOM must follow the rest of the world in making the only reasonable antitrust ruling in this case…which is to approve of the deal. Not doing so would open the ministry up to charges of incompetence or corruption as this issue is an open and shut case. Everyone else have approved of the deal. China cannot afford to become the laughingstock of the world or to assist in propagating an injustice against nokia according to its own laws.. There are no antitrust issues here, there are no monopolies. With window phones at 2% of the Chinese market there are virtually no market to speak of. What we do have is the dominant phone maker, Android, trying to restrict competition by objecting to a deal that would bring in new competitive players into the phone market; prices for android phones will have to come down to be competitive when the new Microsoft window phones enter the market and that’s what they are afraid of….this deal must be approved by the Chinese anti-trust authorities because it is the opposite of antitrust and helps promote competition. To do otherwise will violate Mofcom’s entire mission.

Mar 07, 2014 11:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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