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Nokia shares drop on compliance concerns at ex-rival Alcatel-Lucent

The networks firm said it may face sanctions over irregularities discovered at the company that it acquired in 2015.

Risto Siilasmaa ja Rajeev Suri ilmoittivat Alcatel-Lucent -kaupoista huhtikuussa 2015.
Risto Siilasmaa and Rajeev Suri announce the Alcatel-Lucent acquisition in April 2015. Image: Markku Ojala / EPA

Finnish networks company Nokia said on Thursday that it’s possible it may face sanctions in the United States over irregularities it has detected at former French rival Alcatel-Lucent. Nokia purchased Alcatel-Lucent for 15.6 billion euros in 2015. At the time it went down as the biggest corporate acquisition in Finnish history.

The company’s share price slid on Friday afternoon following an annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States.

The networks firm said that it had voluntarily handed over to US securities authorities a report that could trigger a fine, as it revealed the discovery of what it called "compliance issue"s following the purchase of its biggest competitor.

The company said that the reason for a possible fine might be irregularities that emerged at Alcatel-Lucent during efforts to merge both companies.

"During the course of the ongoing integration process, we have been made aware of certain practices relating to compliance issues at the former Alcatel Lucent business that have raised concerns. We have initiated an internal investigation and voluntarily reported the matter to the relevant regulatory authorities, with whom we are cooperating with a view to resolving the matter," Nokia said on page 74 of the filing.

"The resolution of this matter could result in potential criminal or civil penalties, including the possibility of monetary fines, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, brand, reputation or financial position," it continued.

The report did not provide any details about the irregularities discovered, according to business paper Kauppalehti, which first reported on the filing in Finland.

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