Now that its acquisition of Nortel’s CDMA and LTE assets on Tuesday passed court approval in the United States and Canada, Ericsson’s stake in Canada will more than double – if the Canadian government doesn’t intervene.
As part of the deal, at least 2,500 former Nortel employees in its wireless division will find work at Ericsson.
But critics of the Ericsson’s $1.13 billion buyout of certain Nortel assets fear Canada will lose technological know-how as a result of foreign investment.
By all measures, Nortel was the cornerstone of Canada’s telecommunications industry, having been in existence for over a century. Although Ericsson has only been around in Canada since 1953, it, too, has a substantial presence in the country.
Ericsson Canada is one of the country’s top research and development investors, with over 126 million Canadian dollars invested since 2008, bringing the company’s total Canadian investment over the past decade to more than 2 billion. Around six percent of Ericsson’s R&D funds go to the company’s Montreal, Canada research center.
Ericsson’s stake in Canada has been fruitful: Its 1,900 Canadian employees have contributed 330 patents to Ericsson’s patent portfolio since 1986.