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Nokia Week in Review (Week of August 6)

August 10, 2006 in Wireless Industry News

This week marked some more random weirdness in the wireless telecommunications industry. In this entry: toilet paper, Qualcomm, burst pipes, and Loudeye.

Let’s start on Monday:

TRC Capital Group extended an offer to Nokia investors to purchase up to 5 million shares at a specified price of $19. Meanwhile, Nokia said the equivalent of “Anyone stupid enough to sell their shares of Nokia stock, currently worth $19.65, for 19 bucks is a moron.” Although it ended up sounding more like “Investors should consult their financial advisor…blah blah blah.” TRC Capital Group has made these kind of offers before to shareholders of Xerox, 3M, Chevron, and Teva Pharmaceutical.

A scary fact found in a Business Week article: Nokia used to manufacture rubber boots, cables, and toilet paper. As you may imagine, that was before they decided to go hardcore on manufacturing cell phones.

One of the more important news this week revolved around Nokia’s purchase of Loudeye. Loudeye runs several online digital music stores and provides music distribution services. Under the terms of the agreement, Nokia will pay $4.50 per share to Loudeye’s shareholders. Interestingly, Loudeye closed on Monday at $1.77. That’s a pretty sweet deal for Loudeye’s investors.

You don’t have to be Inspector Gadget to figure this one out. Nokia is focusing on multifunction music devices, and it needs some kind of music distribution model to rake in even more cash. Quote of the week regarding Nokia’s buyout of Loudeye: “It’s a small step for them. I would expect them to do more.” You can thank an analyst named Ilkka Rauvola for that one.

On Wednesday, Nokia filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm (again). This time, Nokia wants to prevent Qualcomm’s somewhat lame attempt to stop the sale of products containing Nokia’s infringing patents. Make sense? Didn’t think so. I don’t get it either. They need to duke it out in the ring or something.

And in completely unrelated news, New York City Sprint customers faced a service outage after a burst pipe caused some water damage to network equipment. Lesson to be learned: never put sensitive equipment next to a fire hydrant.

Ah well. That was all the (interesting) news that was fit to print for the past week. Here’s hoping we’ll have some bigger and better stories next week.


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