Nokia Siemens buy of Motorola network ops wins EU nod

The German headquarters of Nokia Siemens Networks is pictured in Munich November 4, 2009. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Nokia Siemens Networks won EU regulatory approval on Wednesday to purchase Motorola’s mobile telecom network equipment business for $1.2 billion, in a deal meant to boost its presence in Japan and North America.

The acquisition could help Nokia Siemens Networks -- a joint venture of Nokia and Siemens -- to better compete against rivals Sweden’s Ericsson, China’s Huawei and France’s Alcatel-Lucent.

The European Commission, the EU competition watchdog, said the respective product portfolios had little overlap and that the Motorola business being bought only had a limited presence in the European Economic Area.

“Furthermore, the Commission found that the combined entity would continue to face a number of large and effective competitors,” it said, pointing out that the market for mobile network equipment operated on a bidding basis, with sophisticated buyers.