September 29, 2014 / 5:00 AM / 5 years ago

Nokia says not liable in Mexico damages ruling on former unit

A photo illustration of a man silhouetted against a Nokia logo in the central Bosnian town of Zenica January 23, 2014. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Finland’s Nokia said on Monday the liabilities of its former unit Nokia Mexico S.A. de C.V. were now held by Microsoft Corp, responding to a Mexican court ruling that Nokia Mexico would have to pay damages for faulty equipment.

“Microsoft acquired Nokia Mexico S.A. de C.V. as part of its acquisition of the former Nokia Devices & Services business, including any liabilities to customers,” a Nokia spokesman said, explaining that Nokia was not liable in the Mexico case.

A Mexican government agency said on Sunday a Mexico City court had ruled Nokia Mexico must pay damages to customers who had purchased defective mobile phones from Nokia Mexico since 2010.

Nokia’s sale of its mobile business to Microsoft was completed this year.

Mexican consumer protection agency Profeco said the court ruled Nokia Mexico must either replace defective devices and/or reimburse their cost, plus pay compensation equivalent to at least 20 percent of the damages resulting from malfunctioning.

A spokeswoman for Microsoft said that following a ruling in April 2011, Nokia Mexico in October 2013 had been ordered to pay damages to 17 affected consumers for a total of some $4,200, and that it had done so in March 2014.

Although Profeco said on Sunday that consumers in Mexico could still present claims against Nokia Mexico for faulty devices, the Microsoft spokeswoman said on Monday the deadline for claims had expired in April 2012.

Asked about this again on Monday, a Profeco spokeswoman said compensation claims could still be filed against Nokia Mexico and that no deadline for submitting them had yet been fixed.

Reporting by Dave Graham; editing by Gunna Dickson

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