Nokia Siemens buy of Motorola network ops wins EU nod

BRUSSELS, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Nokia Siemens Networks [NSN.UL] won EU regulatory approval on Wednesday to purchase Motorola's MOT.N 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 NOK1V.HE and Siemens SIEGn.DE -- to better compete against rivals Sweden's Ericsson ERICb.ST, China's Huawei [HWT.UL] and France's Alcatel-Lucent ALUA.PA.

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.