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EU to probe Nokia NavTeq purchase

Proposed deal 'raises serious doubts'

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The European Commission has launched a formal investigation into Nokia's plans to buy NavTeq, a US company that produces navigable digital maps.

The $8.1bn proposed deal "raises serious doubts with regards to vertical competition concerns", the Commission said in a statement.

Nokia is the world market leader in mobile phone handsets, while Navteq is one of only two producers of navigable digital maps offering complete coverage of Europe and North America.

The final decision is expected to be announced on 8 August. The investigation, under the EU Merger Regulation, will assess "whether the transaction would increase the costs of navigable digital map for other companies providing navigation services on mobile handsets or limit their access to these maps, and as a consequence harm consumers".

Nokia played down the significance of the announcement, saying it "does not in any way signal the ultimate outcome."

"We have engaged in an open and constructive dialogue with the Commission in order to find agreement on the acquisition of NAVTEQ," said Rick Simonson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Nokia. "We have listened to the Commission's concerns, and look forward to finding a common understanding that will enable the transaction to be closed."

Here's Nokia’s statement and the EC's statement. ®

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