Nokia’s transfer of its Indian manufacturing unit and other assets in the country to Microsoft is facing a legal hurdle that could force the Finnish phone maker to take some extreme steps including potential shutdown of the plant.
If the Indian manufacturing plant is not transferred to Microsoft, it could mean less money for Nokia from the Microsoft deal.
After India’s Supreme Court on Friday upheld an earlier ruling asking Nokia to give financial guarantee before transferring any local assets to Microsoft, the mobile phone maker said it’s disappointed and will consider “the next steps.”
“Today, India’s Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by Nokia on how its assets could be unfrozen and transferred to Microsoft. The decision means that the case now reverts to the February 5 Delhi High Court ruling on the asset transfer,” Nokia said in a statement.
“Nokia is disappointed by today’s decision. The company strongly believes its offer to the Indian tax department is fair for all sides, allowing its employees and assets to transfer to Microsoft while also providing the necessary financial guarantees. Nokia regrets the anxiety this extended legal process has caused its employees,” the company said in a statement.
A Delhi High Court ruling last month had asked Nokia to pay up additional amounts as a guarantee for any future tax claims. At the centre of this dispute is Nokia’s manufacturing plant in Chennai, which employes around 8,000 people.