This column was originally published on
on Aug. 8 at 11:34 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for
August is a magical media month: A time of crop circles, mutant reptiles and merger fantasies.
Research In Motion
takeover rumor began circulating as the company threatened to sink below $70, and the
thesis is surfacing right after the rebound from the recent Nokia plunge is beginning to run out of steam.
Let's be clear, Nokia is hardly going to take over RIMM now that the Symbian smartphone market is growing twice as fast as the Blackberry market. That would be akin to
buying the rights to Dreamcast, a failing video console maker, in the summer or winter of 1999. (And that is not particularly flippant, Dreamcast was selling 500,000 units a month when it debuted in America.)
The Cisco-Nokia hookup is even more bizarre. First, Nokia is in the consumer and branding business. Cisco is at the opposite end of the IT spectrum, it lacks even operator customers, let alone a consumer presence. The complete absence of overlapping areas is hardly a merger indicator. You rarely see rumors of
type mergers for example.
Second, there is the national security angle. Nokia makes up half of the value of the Helsinki stock exchange. It has more impact on Finland's economy than the combination of
have on the American economy.
Considering how much hyperventilation a foreign takeover of a rather mangy Illinois refrigerator company just created, what would happen if the above-mentioned U.S. companies would be merged by a Chinese buyer and renamed Seven Harbingers of Celestial Harmony? That's the closest analogy I can find to a takeover of Nokia from a Finnish perspective. And Nokia is still run by those Finnish executives who transformed the company from a low-end paper napkin specialist into a telecom company. They are hardly likely to cap their careers by selling out.
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Tero Kuittinen is a Senior Product Specialist for Nordic Partners, Inc., a pan-Nordic brokerage firm. Although Kuittinen is an employee of Nordic Partners, Inc., the statements above are being made in Kuittinen's personal capacity and are in no way are the statements of Nordic Partners, Inc., nor attributable to the company. At the time of publication, Kuittinen had no position in any securities mentioned in this column, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Kuittinen appreciates your feedback;
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