Nokia and Siemens delay merger

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Nokia and Siemens delay merger

Waiting until compliance review is completed.

The investigation into the corruption scandal at Siemens has delayed a proposed merger between the telco equipment divisions of Siemens and Nokia. 

The merger was to be completed in January 2007, creating a new organisation called Nokia Siemens Networks.

But the deal has been put back to an unspecified date in the first quarter so that Siemens can "conduct an appropriate compliance review prior to closing the transaction", according to a prepared statement by the two companies.

The compliance review was launched at the highest levels in Siemens when news broke in mid-November of alleged bribes made to secure European fixed-line telco contracts.

A "slush fund" reportedly containing over €400m ($671m) was uncovered in a number of Swiss bank accounts.

German police and tax inspectors raided Siemens' offices and the homes of executives, seized over 30,000 documents and arrested six Siemens' executives.

Industry commentators say the scandal is unlikely to derail the merger entirely. The deal was rubber-stamped by the US and EU antitrust authorities before the scandal broke and the two companies have defined the company's organisational structure and mode of operations.
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