Earlier this year Microsoft announced that it will acquire Nokia’s devices and services division for $7.17 billion, pending shareholder and regulatory approval. Nokia’s shareholders voted overwhelmingly in support for this deal, and major regulatory bodies like the E.U. commission and the U.S. Department of Justice all gave their blessing as well. However, China’s Ministry of Commerce launched a probe into the deal and it appears that the authorities aren’t done yet. Rumor has it that another probe into this deal has been launched, fueled by concerns voiced by local manufacturers in the country.
The emphasis of this probe is said to be on antitrust. Local vendors are reportedly concerned that if Nokia turns into a “patent troll,” things could get quite difficult for them. However, it should be kept in mind that Nokia is holding on to its patents, it will license them to Microsoft despite having sold Redmond its hardware division. So that doesn’t mean that Microsoft and Nokia will have a combined patent portfolio, which appears to be the concern that has reportedly started the second probe. Whatever the result maybe, its not like it would completely cripple the Microsoft-Nokia deal, but it could end up complicating matters for both companies in China. It should be noted that Windows Phone doesn’t have that much penetration in the Chinese smartphone market, its market share is under five percent.
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