FTC OKs Sale of Nortel Units to Nokia Siemens

Regulators with the Federal Trade Commission approve Nokia Siemens' bid to buy two business units from Nortel for $650 million. Nortel has been under bankruptcy protection since early 2009, and is looking to sell off various businesses. At the same time, Nortel continues to build out its unified communications capabilities, including the latest release of its Communication Server 1000.

Federal regulators have given the go-ahead to Nokia Siemens Networks' $650 million bid for a part of Nortel Networks' business.

The Federal Trade Commission on July 6 put the bid on a list of approved mergers.

Nokia Siemens' bid, announced June 19, is part of a larger process that will decide the future of Nortel, which has been under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since early in 2009.

Nokia Siemens is looking to buy Nortel's CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) wireless business and LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology. The $650 million offer will set the bottom for future bids for the businesses, and Nokia Siemens will have the right to best any offer.

When the deal was announced, Nortel officials said selling the businesses was important to ensure the company's future, and that as many as 2,500 Nortel employees could end up working for Nokia Siemens. The company is a joint initiative between Nokia and Siemens.

After filing for bankruptcy, Nortel officials said they expected to use the protection to reorganize. However, in June Nortel announced the deal with Nokia Siemens and said deals for other businesses could be in the works. Speculation about which businesses might be sold has focused on Nortel's Enterprise and Metro Ethernet Networks businesses.

However, since the deal was announced, Nortel has been busy expanding its UC (unified communications) offerings.

Less than a week after the Nokia Siemens announcement, Nortel said it was extending its small and midsize business-focused SCS (Software Communication System) into the enterprise, and announced a deal with a European telecommunications service provider.

On July 7, Nortel announced the 6.0 release of its Communications Server 1000, which company officials said offers greater simplicity, security and openness, as well as improved energy efficiency.

CS 1000 6.0 features more centralization of functions. In addition, the new release comes with the Unified Communications Management Solution, which manages CS 1000 as the network's UC foundation.