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Google, Samsung 'express concern' over Microsoft-Nokia deal: report

Google and Samsung are reportedly concerned patent licensing fees may increase should the software giant acquire the Finnish phone maker's devices and services unit.
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Written by Zack Whittaker on
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Image: CNET

Google and Samsung have reportedly joined Chinese phone makers Huawei and ZTE in "expressing concern" to China's state regulators that the Microsoft-Nokia deal may result in higher patent licensing fees.

The news was first reported by Bloomberg, citing two government officials familiar with negotiations.

According to the report, both Google and Samsung asked China's Ministry of Commerce to ensure the transaction would not lead to higher fees, particularly in wireless technologies, where such patents remain highly competitive and sought after.

There is also concern Microsoft may get a boost in the smartphone market and could abuse its patent position, the government officials were reported as saying.

Microsoft has faced the brunt of the European Union in recent years over antitrust concerns, but passed the Nokia deal without a fuss. The Brussels-based bureaucrats did, however, say it would monitor Nokia's licensing practices following the deal's close.

Regulators in the U.S., Europe, and India, despite a $340 million tax bill, have already cleared the deal. Russia, Israel and Turkey have already reportedly followed suit.

China has not yet publicly cleared the deal.

A Microsoft spokesperson previously told ZDNet on the phone that it was further regulators would have to accept the terms of the deal, though did not state which states were still to sign off.

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