Fears remain that Microsoft’s increasing power in smartphone market could lead to higher patent licensing fees.
Regulators in China are conducting an anti-monopoly review of the $7.17 billion deal under which Nokia’s devices and services division will be acquired by Microsoft.
Microsoft expects that the deal will be closed by the end of this quarter. Nokia’s shareholders voted for it, so it wasn’t held up there. The EU commission didn’t object, and neither did the U.S. Department of Justice. Many expected that it would be smooth sailing all the way, though Chinese regulators are being a bit thorough as there are mounting concerns of local vendors who believe Microsoft’s acquisition will make things difficult for them.
Both Google and Samsung have joined China’s ZTE and Huawei in making their concerns public, the primary concern being that the patents that remain with Nokia don’t suddenly cost a lot more to license after the deal with Microsoft is closed. Two government officials who spoke with the scribe revealed that the companies are also concerned about Microsoft’s dominance in the smartphone market after this acquisition. It is unclear if these concerns will have any effect on the status of the deal.
The officials believe that China’s Ministry of Commerce, which is leading the anti-monopoly review in the Microsoft-Nokia deal, isn’t going to hold it up. It is expected to approve the deal in the near future.