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EC clears Nokia's Trolltech bid

The deal between the handset maker and open-source software company would not 'significantly impede effective competition' in Europe, said the Commission
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

The European Commission has cleared Nokia's acquisition of open-source software company Trolltech.

The phone giant announced in January that it was to buy Trolltech for its "talent and technologies". The deal is expected to close this quarter, and Thursday's announcement by the Commission enables the companies to keep this plan on track.

"Nokia is mainly active in the development and supply of mobile handsets and Trolltech is a supplier of software-development tools," read a statement by the Commission. "The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition within the European Economic Area (EEA) or a substantial part of it."

Trolltech's main product is the Qt graphical toolkit, used in Linux development and many commercial products like Skype and Google Earth, and Qtopia — the mobile spin-off from Qt. Investigation by the Commission showed that, if Nokia were to deny other manufacturers access to Trolltech's products, those manufacturers would have plenty of alternatives available to them.

These alternatives include development platforms from the LiMo Foundation, Purple Labs, Access, Azingo and others.

It remains to be seen whether Nokia will keep Trolltech in LiMo, which is an industry consortium that aims to push open source onto the handset. Trolltech is not an active participant in LiMo, which uses GTK+ as its toolkit rather than Qt.

According to Nokia, the deal will close at the end of this week. Nokia will apply for Trolltech's shares to be delisted from the Oslo Stock Exchange "as soon as possible", the company said.

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