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Chinese Ministry of Commerce Holds up Motorola Sale

March 9, 2011, 6:02 p.m.
Jake Saunders, Vice President, Asia-Pacific & Advisory Services

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It seems the Chinese Ministry of Commerce is flexing its anti-trust muscles. Nokia-Siemens Networks, since July 2010, has been weaving through the legal intricacies of getting various national and pan-regional approvals in place for its acquisition of Motorola’s cellular infrastructure business. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has today refused to give its approval, requesting more clarification.

It is a little curious. China’s domestic infrastructure vendors capture the lion’s share of infrastructure contracts awarded in China. So where is the anti-competition element?

I t is possible that a certain amount of “national interest” is at play here. And it looks like Chinese Ministry of Commerce is using the rule book set out by the US Department of Justice/CFIUS.

Just written an insight on the topic.