Sat, Jul 18, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Accenture to buy Symbian services unit from Nokia

REUTERS , LONDON

Technology consulting firm Accenture Ltd has agreed to buy a unit of Nokia Corp responsible for servicing the Symbian smartphone operating system that Nokia has given to an open-source foundation.

The parties did not disclose the price yesterday that Accenture would pay for the business, which has about 165 staff who provide customer support and engineering for Symbian, the world’s most popular smartphone system.

Nokia decided last year to make Symbian technology freely available in the hopes it would encourage Internet developers to build innovative applications on the platform, helping it win back market share.

Peter Rupke, Nokia’s head of devices, said in a statement on yesterday: “This agreement allows the Symbian professional services team to realize its full potential in the supply of independent services to the open-source ecosystem.”

Accenture said the acquisition would expand its ability to help customers in the fast-growing market for converged mobile services.

The transaction is expected to complete within 60 to 90 days.

Nokia shares, which had been down about 2 percent after the company gave a disappointing outlook on Thursday, recovered slightly to trade down 1.8 percent at 9.3 euros (US$13.13) by 1236 GMT.

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