Nokia defeats shareholder lawsuit over Alcatel-Lucent integration, 5G progress

A U.S. judge has dismissed a lawsuit accusing the telecommunications company Nokia of defrauding shareholders by concealing problems in integrating the former Alcatel-Lucent and in its readiness to become a leader in 5G technology, Reuters reported.
In a decision on Monday night, U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter in Manhattan said Clyde Waite, the plaintiff leading the proposed class action, failed to identify any statements by Nokia that were false or misleading when they were made.

He said it was not plausible that Nokia’s statements would have misled reasonable investors, given the company’s “numerous and continuous disclosures regarding the Alcatel integration and 5G progress.”

Carter dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning it cannot be filed again.

The litigation began after Nokia said in March 2019 it had alerted regulators to “compliance issues” at Alcatel-Lucent, which it bought in 2016 in a transaction originally valued at 15.6 billion euros, though any penalties should be immaterial.

Then in October 2019, Nokia slashed its profit outlook and suspended its dividend, citing the need to spend more money amid a “competitive intensity” for 5G market share.

The price of Nokia’s American depositary receipts fell about 6 percent immediately after the March disclosures, and nearly 24 percent after the October disclosures.

Earlier this month, Nokia said it expects to shed about 10,000 jobs from its roughly 90,000-employee workforce within two years, as new chief executive officer Pekka Lundmark tries to boost margins and catch up with rivals in 5G. Nokia’s rivals include Sweden’s Ericsson, China’s Huawei Technologies and ZTE and South Korea’s Samsung.