Nokia: close of Microsoft deal delayed until April - Mobile World Live

Nokia: close of Microsoft deal delayed until April

24 MAR 2014

Nokia said it now expects the sale of the bulk of its Devices & Services unit to Microsoft to close in April 2014, rather than during the first quarter as originally targeted, because it is still waiting regulatory approval from a number of unnamed antitrust authorities in Asia.

Its statement said the two companies remained committed to closing the deal but are still hanging on for approvals from certain (unspecified) Asian countries.

The Finnish vendor repeated that ongoing tax proceedings in India have not impacted the timing or the terms of the Microsoft deal.

Yet the company faces a new court filing in the country from the Tamil Nadu tax department, for allegedly unpaid taxes of approximately €300 million ($414 million). This is separate from an earlier tax claim made against Nokia in India.

The company vigorously denied the claim. In a strongly-worded statement, Nokia pointed out exports from India are exempt from tax and that it has proved in the past that the devices produced at its facility in Chennai are shipped abroad.

The company said the claim that the Chennai devices were actually sold domestically is “absurd”.

It added: “We contend that this allegation has no basis in reality whatsoever; it could easily be rebuffed by a check of documentation provided to various governmental departments, including Customs.”

Back in December, Nokia supplied Mobile World Live with a list of those countries which had cleared the deal. The list included India, in addition to the EC, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the US.

However, it said a further six countries including China had not approved the transaction.

At the time Nokia still anticipated an end-March close to the deal. Clearly, those Asian countries have moved slower than the Finnish vendor thought over the  last three months.

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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