Parliamentary committee to query Nortel Ericsson deal

Nortel Networks Corp.’s agreement to sell its carrier wireless assets to LM Ericsson will be the subject of an emergency hearing in Ottawa this Friday.

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology announced it will hold hearings “on issues related to the proposed sale of certain Nortel Networks Corporation assets.” Witnesses are scheduled to appear on behalf of Nortel, Ericsson, Industry Canada and Research in Motion (RIM) Inc.Waterloo, Ont.-based RIM last month claimed it was prevented from bidding on the Nortel carrier wireless unit, plus “certain other assets,” and asked the federal government to intervene.

The Industry Science and Technology committee plans to hold televised meetings in room 237-C of the Centre Block on Parliament Hill.

Here are some questions committee members should ask Research in Motion:
-How many Nortel employees would be offered employment by Research in Motion if RIM buys the carrier wireless assets?
-On July 20, RIM stated it “would be prepared to pay in the range of US $1.1 billion … for the CDMA and Long Term Evolution Access businesses and certain other Nortel assets.” Which other assets is RIM referring to?
-On July 20, RIM stated the “loss of Canadian ownership” of Nortel’s CDMA and LTE business “may significantly, adversely affect national interests, with potential national security implications …” Who will be harmed and how, if Ericsson is successful in buyin the CDMA and LTE business?

– How will national security be harmed?
– How would a RIM acquisition prevent this harm?

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