Ina Fried

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Nokia to Sell Messaging Unit to Britain’s Synchronica

Synchronica said late on Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire a Nokia unit that provides e-mail, instant messaging and other software for cellular carriers.

With the deal, expected to close in the third quarter, Synchronica will take over 10 operator contracts, including deals with all four major U.S. carriers as well as Rogers and Telus in Canada. Also as part of the deal, Synchronica is acquiring a number of Nokia patents and agreeing to provide e-mail and other services that will continue to be preloaded on Nokia’s Series 40 phones.

“This acquisition marks a key milestone for Synchronica as we move closer to our goal of becoming the leading global player for next-generation mobile messaging,” Synchronica CEO Carsten Brinkschulte said in a statement. “Nokia’s successful and highly complementary Operator Branded Messaging business will at a stroke transform Synchronica’s scale, profitability and geographic scope.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

While that settles the future of this unit, what remains less clear is the future of Nokia’s network equipment joint venture with Siemens. Nokia Siemens Networks was created back in 2006 but is unprofitable, and efforts to find a minority or majority investor have yet to bear fruit, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work