Google and Samsung, according to government-level Bloomberg sources, have expressed concern that a combination of Microsoft and Nokia’s mobile-phone business might mean higher patent licensing fees in China.
The search engine giant, along with the South Korean manufacturer, have apparently asked China’s Ministry of Commerce to ensure Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services unit doesn’t result in higher fees from wireless patents that remain with the Finnish company.
Another concern is that Microsoft, by gaining more power in the smartphone market, might abuse its patents.
Huawei and ZTE, according to Bloomberg sources, have already asked China’s regulators to set conditions on the deal.
Government officials talking to Bloomberg said China’s Ministry of Commerce is conducting an anti-monopoly review and will likely approve the deal. Whether or not restrictions will be imposed on raising patent fees is still to be determined.
A review of Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s phone business comes against a backdrop of increased pressure on western tech companies in China.
Qualcomm is facing increased pressure in China after the country’s Communications Industry Association (CCIA) recently filed a complaint against the US chipmaker for abusing what it alleges is a dominant market position.
InterDigital, another US wireless firm, announced on 7 February it was continuing to cooperate with an anti-monopoly law investigation by NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission).