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Chinese mobile makers asks regulators to ensure Nokia takeover will retain patent fees - sources

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(Credit: Reuters) Showgoers check the offerings at the Microsoft booth at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 9, 2009.
Microsoft Corp
December 27
4:19 AM 2013

Government officials told Bloomberg that two China-based mobile phone makers asked regulators to see to it that the €5.44 billion or $7.5 billion takeover of the handset business of Nokia by Microsoft Corp will not lead to more expensive wireless technology patent fees.

The people who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they had no authority to talk about the matter in public said Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp have asked the Ministry of Commerce in China to put conditions on the transaction so that Microsoft will not increase patent licensing fees later on. The regulator is currently evaluating the deal to ensure that there is no monopoly, the report said.

In September, Microsoft and Nokia unveiled the deal as they look to work together in the smartphone market where they both failed to compete with Apple Inc's iPhone and the devices that run on the Android platform of Google Inc. On December 4, the European Union gave Microsoft its approval to proceed with the deal while regulators said they would be monitoring the licensing practices of Nokia.

When the deal was approved, the European Commission said in a statement that it would stay vigilant and closely monitor the post-merger licensing practices of Nokia to ensure that it would follow EU antitrust rules. The report said Google filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft and Nokia last year, claiming that the two firms used patents to frustrate competition.

Although Samsung and Apple lead in smartphone shipments worldwide, four of the top seven producers globally are Chinese vendors, according to an October report by market research IDC. IDC said that in the third quarter, a 31% share of the market was held by Samsung while Apple had 13%. Huawei placed third with 4.8% while Lenovo was in fourth with 4.7%. South Korea's LG Electronics Inc ranked fifth while China Wireless Technologies Ltd's Coolpad brand and ZTE were in sixth and seventh places. 

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