Nokia completes Symbian acquisition

The completion of the buyout means the recently created Symbian Foundation can start taking the operating system closer to its open-source future

Nokia's buyout of operating-system company Symbian has been completed, the phone manufacturer announced on Tuesday.

Nokia first announced its intention to buy all the Symbian shares it did not already own back in June, when it also said it was going to fold Symbian, along with its derivatives, UIQ and Series 60, into a newly open-source operating system. This open-source system will be controlled by the Nokia-led Symbian Foundation, other members of which include Sony Ericsson, Motorola, NTT DoCoMo, AT&T, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone.

On Tuesday, the Finnish manufacturer said in a statement that "all conditions to Nokia's offer to acquire Symbian Limited have been satisfied and it has received valid acceptance of greater than 99.9 percent of the total Symbian shares that Nokia did not already own". The company also said that all Symbian employees would become Nokia employees on 1 February, 2009.

The deal's completion means that the Symbian Foundation can now start stripping out or otherwise dealing with the third-party proprietary code within the Symbian operating system. Several options are available to Symbian and Nokia, including removing the code, replacing it, or convincing those third parties to allow their code to become open source. To start this process before the deal's closure would have been illegal.

According to Symbian, the whole conversion process will take around two years, with the first version of the Symbian Foundation code being made available in March or April 2009.


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