Parliamentary committee to query Nortel Ericsson deal

Nortel Networks Corp.’s agreement to sellits carrier wireless assets to LM Ericsson will be thesubject of an emergency hearing in Ottawa this Friday.

The Houseof Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technologyannounced it will hold hearings “on issues related to the proposed saleof certain Nortel Networks Corporation assets.” Witnesses are scheduledto appear on behalf of Nortel, Ericsson, Industry Canada and Researchin Motion (RIM) Inc.

Waterloo, Ont.-based RIM last month claimedit was preventedfrom bidding on the Nortel carrier wireless unit, plus“certain other assets,” and asked the federal government to intervene.

TheIndustry Science and Technology committee plans to hold televisedmeetings 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?

-OnJuly 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 businessesand certain other Nortel assets.” Which other assets is RIM referringto?

-On July 20, RIM stated the “loss of Canadian ownership” ofNortel’s CDMA and LTE business “may significantly, adversely affectnational interests, with potential national security implications …” Who will be harmed and how, if Ericsson is successful in buyin theCDMA and LTE business? How will national security be harmed? How woulda RIM acquisition prevent this harm?

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