U.S. imposes restrictions on Nokia-Siemens JV: paper

Monday, January 8, 2007; 5:25 AM

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The United States has imposed restrictions on the planned telecoms-networks joint venture of Germany's Siemens (SIEGn.DE) and Finland's Nokia (NOK1V.HE), the Financial Times reported on Monday.

The FT said the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS) had conducted a national security review of the proposed joint venture -- which is set to become one of the industry's biggest players with sales of about $23 billion.

Citing people familiar with the review, the newspaper said Nokia and Siemens had been forced to sign a so-called mitigations agreement, which could dictate whether foreigners can work on U.S. equipment and software.

Mitigations agreements contain conditions to which companies agree in order to gain regulatory clearance.

The FT said that in particular any deal involving Canada's Nortel Networks (NT.N) (NT.TO), which does sensitive work for the U.S. government, would face a lengthy investigation.

Siemens referred queries on the report to Nokia Networks.

A Nokia spokeswoman said: "Nokia regards discussions with governmental authorities regarding CFIUS filings as confidential and as such we cannot comment on discussions or agreements with government authorities."

Mobile phone giant Nokia and German industrial conglomerate Siemens decided in June to merge the bulk of their telecoms network equipment businesses, the latest event in a wave of consolidation in the industry.

The new company had been due to start operations at the beginning of this year, but Nokia and Siemens said last month that a corruption probe at Siemens would delay the start of operations to later in the first quarter.

(Additional reporting by Reuters Helsinki bureau)

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