Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services division hasn’t hit any major roadblocks. The deal sailed through Nokia’s shareholders meeting and it wasn’t held up by EU and U.S. regulatory bodies. There might be some trouble brewing in China though, which initially launched a probe into the deal. Just last week the country’s Ministry of Commerce launched another probe apparently after antitrust concerns was launched by local vendors. Rumor has it that China may require Microsoft and Nokia to lower their licensing fees before it approves the deal.
Nokia has sold its hardware business, but it hasn’t sold its patents to Microsoft. Technically speaking, both companies don’t have a joined patent portfolio. Nokia itself holds more than 7,000 patents and just last year it filed infringement complaints against ViewSonic, HTC and BlackBerry. Sources who spoke to Digitimes claim that while Nokia has been “reluctant” to file infringement complaints against local vendors in China, it may seek fees once it hands off the hardware division to Microsoft, presumably at the end of the first quarter of 2014. They claim that local vendors want the ministry to “force” both companies to make certain “concessions,” with regards to the licensing fees before the deal is approved, as they fear Nokia might file complaints against them as their global brand recognition grows.
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