Nokia gets nod from European Commission to acquire French telecommunication equipment company Alcatel Lucent. Earlier Nokia received no objection certificate from anti-trust organizations of Albania, Canada, Colombia, Russia, United States, Brazil and Serbia. The deal amount is clocked at USD 16.6 billion.
The NoC comes as a relief to Nokia to strengthen its RAN and core networks business in several territories. EC states that this deal does not raise competition concerns as both parties are not competitive in same geographies. Nokia is dominant in Europe while Alcatel Lucent is in North America.
EC also pointed out that other players like Samsung, Huawei and ZTE are also doing good business which would not be hampered by this merger. Nokia is yet to receive similar NoC in China.
Nokia's enterprise network equipment business was earlier a joint venture with Siemens - Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN). It was formed in 2007 and in 2013 Nokia bought all shares from Siemens and rebranded as Nokia Networks. With the fastest growing LTE market and future 5G deployment Nokia's acquisition of Alcatel Lucent can help the company to tap more enterprise market.
Nokia is also in talks to sell its HERE maps to German carmakers' consortium (Audi, Mercedes Benz and BMW). There is no official announcements yet and nobody knows the future of HERE Mapping Services which is often used to be offered to end user once the deal is done.
Nokia for last few years was struggling with its handset division. It's worst decision was taken by ex-Microsoft employee, the-then Nokia CEO Steven Elope to choose Microsoft's Windows Phone platform which never did good against Google's Android and Apple's iPhone; and did terrible mishap to the company itself. Eventually Microsoft acquired Nokia's handset division in 2013.
Many analysts believe Elope was Microsoft's trojan horse sent to Nokia to enter handset market to compete Google. Since 2005 Google started its transformation - from world's largest search engine to a software company to a hardware maker. And Microsoft could not match the pace with the transformation. Even after the acquisition of Nokia's handset division, Microsoft recently announced they will write off the money spent to buy it. At the same time Nokia Technologies may kickstart its phase 2 of consumer product line in 2016, as hinted by Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri.