Samsung and Google question Nokia-Microsoft merger in China

Nokia and Microsoft have both said they expect the sale of Nokia's Devices and Services division to Microsoft to be completed by the end of March 2014. However, China has yet to approve the deal and this week a new report claims Samsung and Google are expressing concerns of their own to the Chinese government about the sale.

Bloomberg reports, via unnamed sources, that both companies have sent notes to China’s Ministry of Commerce. Samsung and Google reportedly feel Nokia could raise the fees on the wireless technology patents that it will keep when the merger is complete. The two companies also believe that Microsoft could abuse the mobile phone patents it owns.

In addition to Samsung and Google, Chinese-based smartphone companies Huawei and ZTE are also rumored to have asked their country's government to set some conditions on the Nokia-Microsoft deal before it is approved. None of these companies have commented on Bloomberg's report.

The deal to sell Nokia's smartphone division to Microsoft has already been approved by U.S. and European regulators. Nokia has also said a current tax dispute with the country of India will not keep the deal from going forward.

Source: Bloomberg | Image via Microsoft

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51 Comments

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Everyone just has to admit, they're all as bad as each other, no matter who you like best, you cant escape the stupid and greed in the world, you just have to slowly better the world by example.

Quite possible that China, already pi**ed that MS rejected its request to extend XP support, will kill the deal.

ha ha. seriously those two are more of a threat to competition than just about anything in mobile. google and samsung going after the 2% market of WPs affected by this merger only brings more attention to their own practices. Didn't they learn the way MSFT got in hot water was to bully the small guy? apparently not. but they will.

neonspark said,
ha ha. seriously those two are more of a threat to competition than just about anything in mobile. google and samsung going after the 2% market of WPs affected by this merger only brings more attention to their own practices. Didn't they learn the way MSFT got in hot water was to bully the small guy? apparently not. but they will.

It has nothing to do with Windows Phone marketshare, which as you rightly pointed out is minuscule. It's about patents, and the potential for Nokia to become Microsoft's patent troll puppet.

simplezz said,

It has nothing to do with Windows Phone marketshare, which as you rightly pointed out is minuscule. It's about patents, and the potential for Nokia to become Microsoft's patent troll puppet.

Whether Microsoft completes the purchase of Nokia or not, Google will still have to license the patents. If the sales goes through, they will just have to sign one agreement with Microsoft instead of two... one for Microsoft and one for Nokia.

They left it a while to object... It just seems like they left it late to put a spanner in the works.

They are not blocking the sale. Just have some concerns that they want addressed. Any company would question things like this and not the first time something like this happened. The deal with go through. Seems like other companies have some concerns as well. China is a huge market and is no surprise companies have some concerns. If Google and company tried to block the sale, then that is a different story.

Another day in the tech world.

..and this is exactly why I don't like Google (or Samsung, really). Enough with the corporate trolling.

duoi said,
..and this is exactly why I don't like Google (or Samsung, really). Enough with the corporate trolling.

Ever heard of the Rockstar Consortium which many considered patent trolls? Backed by MS?

Corporate trolling is the new thing. Better get used to it.

Wall-swe said,
Have you read about them? As they clearly are backed by Apple and others also.

As well as MS. Apple, MS, Sony, Ericson and BlackBerry are all apart of the Rockstar Consortium. I only mentioned MS since this is what the article is about.

techbeck said,

As well as MS. Apple, MS, Sony, Ericson and BlackBerry are all apart of the Rockstar Consortium. I only mentioned MS since this is what the article is about.

Google was also invited.

amnesiality said,

Google was also invited.

Google put in a bid and was turned down and the others went and bought the patents...then turned around and sued several Android OEMs.

duoi said,
..and this is exactly why I don't like Google (or Samsung, really). Enough with the corporate trolling.

You mean like how Microsoft employed proxy organisations (ICOMP, FairSearch) to lobby the EU's antitrust body against Google? Or perhaps things like the Scroogled campaign, or how Microsoft tried to stop Google acquiring DoubleClick? Yeah, if you think this is merely a salvo in a one sided war, you're greatly mistaken. Microsoft has been playing dirty tricks for decades.

techbeck said,

Corporate trolling is the new thing. Better get used to it.

Unfortunately for many members on this site, it's only corporate trolling when a Microsoft competitor does it

simplezz said,

Unfortunately for many members on this site, it's only corporate trolling when a Microsoft competitor does it

Goes in cycles. I remember when MS was hated here by lots and well as Apple. It is Google's turn now I guess.

techbeck said,

Google put in a bid and was turned down and the others went and bought the patents...then turned around and sued several Android OEMs.

That's because Google was arrogant enough to go about it alone, and arrogant enough to bid Pi billion dollars.

They could have joined the Rockstar Consortium, paid a tiny fraction of the cost, and gotten equal rights to the patents. It was a no-brainer and they blew it.

Quote from +techbeck:

"Google put in a bid and was turned down and the others went and bought the patents...then turned around and sued several Android OEMs."

As the other poster mentioned. Google was invited to join the consortium. Google refused to join in cause some believe they wanted to 1) Own the patents outright and/or 2) Bid up the price of the patents beyond it's value to weaken their competitors.

Google ended up going into a bidding war against the consortium and succeeded in making the consortium pay way above what most experts believed to be fair market price for the patents.

Again, doesnt make it right for them to turn around and then use the patents to sue a bunch if OEMs. That is called patent trolling and is a big problem in the industry. It wasnt right and people got upset when Google did it with Motorola, but now its no big deal that MS is doing it.

techbeck said,
Again, doesnt make it right for them to turn around and then use the patents to sue a bunch if OEMs. That is called patent trolling and is a big problem in the industry. It wasnt right and people got upset when Google did it with Motorola, but now its no big deal that MS is doing it.

You have to defend your patents from all breaches. You can't selectively enforce. It's not patent trolling. It simply the way the system works.

The difference with Google was that they took FRAND patents and tried to charge unfair, unreasonable, discriminatory licensing costs and the courts agreed.

Google just has no regard for patents or licensing agreements. They should have worked together with the Rockstar Consortium instead of working against them.

Rockstar Consortium is an NPE using patents to go after the competition. That is their soul purpose Thus, patent trolls. And as far as I can tell, no licensing deal on these patents was even attempted with Google. Google lost the bid for hte Nortel patents and then got sued a long with several other OEMS...all competition for many of the RC members. IT is obvious they didnt want Google to have anything to do with the patents.

Cant fault anyone here as they are using the system to their advantage. The system is broken and changes need to happen or things will keep getting worse and then it is the consumers who lose out in the end.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_troll

Edited by techbeck, Mar 4 2014, 9:45pm :

techbeck said,

Ever heard of the Rockstar Consortium which many considered patent trolls? Backed by MS?

Corporate trolling is the new thing. Better get used to it.

Google was offered a part of Rockstar. They not only declined but then tried to screw everyone else over by going it alone. They bid pi billion dollars and now claim the patents are worthless. Ani.

simplezz said,

You mean like how Microsoft employed proxy organisations (ICOMP, FairSearch) to lobby the EU's antitrust body against Google? Or perhaps things like the Scroogled campaign, or how Microsoft tried to stop Google acquiring DoubleClick? Yeah, if you think this is merely a salvo in a one sided war, you're greatly mistaken. Microsoft has been playing dirty tricks for decades.

Of course they'd try to stop Google acquiring Doubleclick, because they were the two largest advertising companies. It was the advertising world equivalent of Microsoft acquiring Apple.

As far as the antitrust: good. Are we forgetting the browser ballot that Google forced upon MS in the EU? Come on. This "Micro$oft sux0rz" stuff is getting really old really quickly.

techbeck said,

Ever heard of the Rockstar Consortium which many considered patent trolls? Backed by MS?

Corporate trolling is the new thing. Better get used to it.

Backed by MS? Did you forget the rest of the companies involved? Or does that not suit your stupid agenda?

duoi said,

Of course they'd try to stop Google acquiring Doubleclick, because they were the two largest advertising companies. It was the advertising world equivalent of Microsoft acquiring Apple.

Microsoft also tried to stop Google acquiring Motorola. Besides, I don't see how Nokia is any different to DoubleClick in real terms. The regulators didn't have a problem with it.

The questioning of the Nokia acquisition in China has more to do with patents and the potential for Nokia to become a troll than just the devices unit itself. A fear that seems justified given Nokia's recent worldwide HTC patent lawsuit campaign.

duoi said,

As far as the antitrust: good. Are we forgetting the browser ballot that Google forced upon MS in the EU? Come on. This "Micro$oft sux0rz" stuff is getting really old really quickly.

Opera filed the complaint to the EU, not Google. I think you're got your wires crossed there.

Max Norris said,
Sounds like somebody's a little worried about the competition.

Microsoft made the same complaint in Europe when Google bought Motorola... Not exactly unusual.

fobban said,

Microsoft made the same complaint in Europe when Google bought Motorola... Not exactly unusual.

Its a bit different because the concern is about the Nokia company patents. Which MS has nothing to do with. If Nokia decides to raise their fees, what does that have to do with MS.

Max Norris said,
Sounds like somebody's a little worried about the competition.

interesting how greedy they are. 80% market share is not enough for them, 5% nokia share is blinding them out of envy.

Max Norris said,
Sounds like somebody's a little worried about the competition.

If by that you mean concern over patent abuse, then yes. Microsoft and Nokia have history in that arena. Nokia started the patent wars, and Microsoft has the ignominious reputation of patent extortion on a scale never seen before in the history of the tech industry.

simplezz said,

If by that you mean concern over patent abuse, then yes. Microsoft and Nokia have history in that arena. Nokia started the patent wars, and Microsoft has the ignominious reputation of patent extortion on a scale never seen before in the history of the tech industry.

You are a bit confused. Patent abuse is precisely what Motorola (owned by Google) was trying to pull against Microsoft and Apple, where they demanded around 5% of the value of the hardware (which in Microsoft's case was utter ridiculous) for a few frand patents.

Microsoft on the other hand is trying to get licensing deals for patents that are non frand, and technology that Google "forgot" to license, effectively laying to burden on their OEMs.

Google, stealing from it's own customers AND the competition.

simplezz said,
If by that you mean concern over patent abuse, then yes.
So why is this potential patent abuse a problem only in China, and only now? Why didn't they bring this up when all the other regulatory bodies around the world were mulling over approving the deal?

Romero said,
So why is this potential patent abuse a problem only in China, and only now? Why didn't they bring this up when all the other regulatory bodies around the world were mulling over approving the deal?

Because Google complaining about patent abuse would have made too many people laugh.

simplezz said,
If by that you mean concern over patent abuse, then yes. Microsoft and Nokia have history in that arena. Nokia started the patent wars, and Microsoft has the ignominious reputation of patent extortion on a scale never seen before in the history of the tech industry.

Which is nonsense given that the agreements Nokia have signed means they cannot just unilaterally increase their prices or sue for more money - the precedent has already been set when Motorola tried the same move in reference to FRAND patents (of which the patents relating to wireless technology that forms the basis of mobile technology) where they tried to extort more money out of Apple and Microsoft.

fobban said,

Microsoft made the same complaint in Europe when Google bought Motorola... Not exactly unusual.
In fairness, Google tried to use Motorola to gouge Microsoft with their FRAND patents relevant to the Xbox 360.

pickypg said,
In fairness, Google tried to use Motorola to gouge Microsoft with their FRAND patents relevant to the Xbox 360.

And Microsoft is gouging almost every Android OEM with its patents, not trying.

simplezz said,
And Microsoft is gouging almost every Android OEM with its patents, not trying.
Fortunately for Microsoft, their patents are not FRAND patents.