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Nokia Snaps Up Avvenu

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has bolstered its Internet services capabilities with yet another acquisition, this time of file-sharing startup Avvenu Inc. , the Finnish giant announced today at its Capital Markets Day in Amsterdam.

The deal was just one of a number of news announcements made today at the Finnish giant's Capital Markets Day in Amsterdam, many of which reinforced the company's push into Internet services. (See Nokia Stakes Claim on Services, Nokia Launches Internet Services, and NSN Touts Tier 1 4G Trials.)

Nokia is acquiring Avvenu for an undisclosed amount. The startup provides file-sharing services that let mobile phone users access and share files stored on their PCs. Nokia says it intends to incorporate Avvenu's file share and access services into its offerings for mobile operators, as well as provide the file-sharing services directly to companies with a mobile workforce. (See Nokia Buys Avvenu.)

The acquisition of Avvenu follows other big buys by the Finnish phone maker to round out its new Internet services strategy. In October, Nokia agreed to acquire digital map provider Navteq for $8.1 billion, and in September, Nokia acquired mobile advertising firm Enpocket. That's an acquisition per month since Nokia unveiled its Internet services strategy. (See Nokia Nabs Navteq for $8B and What's in Nokia's (en)Pocket?)

In addition, Nokia's Ovi Internet services are gaining market traction, this time with Telecom Italia (TIM) . The Italian service provider is the third major operator after Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) to join forces with Nokia to offer Internet services. (See Nokia, TIM Do the Net, Vodafone, Nokia Team Up, Vodafone Opens the Ovi, Telefónica, Nokia Team Up, and Telefónica Hugs Ovi.)

Much like the deals struck with Vodafone and Telefónica, Telecom Italia will offer Nokia's Ovi services on Nokia's N95 8 Gbyte model and the N81. A customized multimedia menu will provide access to both Nokia's and Telecom Italia's Internet services. The two companies will also collaborate on billing.

Nokia also unveiled today a digital music service with Universal Music Group International, called Comes With Music. Users will be able to buy Nokia devices that come with unlimited access to Universal's music for one year. Users will be able to download music to their phones or to their PCs.

When the year is up, users get to keep all the tracks they've downloaded. The price of the music service will be included in the price of the device, so it's not exactly free. Nokia says it's talking to the remaining major music labels about adding them to the service. (See Nokia Unveils Comes With Music.)

Nokia also updated its financial targets for the next two years. The target for Nokia's devices and services operating margin is about 20 percent during the next year or two. The company also said it expects to expand its mobile device market share in 2008. (See Nokia Sets Financial Targets.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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