EU approves NSN Motorola buyout

The European Union has approved the purchase of Motorola’s network equipment business by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN).

Nokia Siemens announced the planned acquisition as early as July 2010, with intentions to close the deal by the end of the year, but the buyout had to first meet EU regulatory approval to ensure it did not harm competition in the European Economic Area.

The European Commission said that Motorola’s network business had a “limited presence” in Europe and that even after the deal Nokia Siemens would face stiff competition from “large and effective competitors”, such as Sweden’s Ericsson, France’s Alcatel-Lucent, and China’s Huawei.

The approval of the acquisition today paves the way for Nokia Siemens to expand its presence in the networking arena in both Japan and North America. The company will pay $1.2 billion to Motorola.

Meanwhile, Finland’s main mobile network operator, Elisa, has hired Nokia Siemens for the rollout of the first wave of its new LTE network. Nokia Siemens will work on the infrastructure necessary to deliver LTE and will also help modernise Elisa’s existing GSM and 3G networks.

The deal will also see Nokia Siemens supply Flexi Multiradio Base Stations, which can help re-farm frequencies, and the NetAct network management platform, which will be used to manage and monitor Elisa’s LTE network.