NSN issued a statement on Wednesday morning to announce that the acquisition will not close in the first quarter of 2011 as planned because it is still pending approval from Chinese regulatory authorities. (See NSN to Buy Moto's Wireless Biz for $1.2B .)
NSN also said that it will give no further guidance on when the acquisition is likely to be completed, but it remains committed to the deal.
"The proposed acquisition has entered phase three of the review process with the Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce in China (MOFCOM)," said NSN in a statement.
This is the second time that the completion date target has been missed for this transaction. When NSN announced on July 19, 2010 that it had agreed to buy most of Motorola's wireless infrastructure business, it said that the acquisition would be completed by the end of 2010. (See NSN's Moto Asset Buy Delayed.)
Now, NSN has refrained from setting a completion date as it awaits approval from the Chinese antitrust authorities.
Why this matters
The further delay to this acquisition will be a blow to NSN's ambitions for the North American market. (See NSN CEO Talks Up US Push in 2011.)
And this new delay may come as no surprise considering that the deal was beset by a legal challenge from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in January this year, when the Chinese vendor acted to prevent any of its intellectual property (IP) from being transferred to Nokia Siemens as part of the transaction. (See Court Finds for Huawei vs Moto, Huawei Wins Restraining Order Against Moto and NSN 'Has No Interest' in Huawei IPR.)
Here's the history so far of NSN's move to get a stronger foothold in North America through the acquisition of Motorola's wireless infrastructure assets.
- Huawei Sues to Block Moto Sale to NSN
- NSN Expands in North America With Moto Buyout
- NSN & Moto: It's All in the Execution
- Might NSN Choke on Its Moto Morsel?
- Reader Poll: NSN's Best US Fit
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile