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Nokia in full buy-out of Symbian

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Nokia in full buy-out of Symbian

Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia is paying 264m euros ($410m; £209m) to buy out the other shareholders in handset software firm Symbian.

Nokia, which already owns 48% of the UK-based firm, intends to develop its software to compete with Google's planned Android operating system.

Nokia said Sony Ericsson, Ericsson, Panasonic and Siemens had agreed to sell their stakes in Symbian.

It added that Samsung was also expected to accept the offer.

For its part, Symbian said the takeover was "a fundamental step" in the establishment of the Symbian Foundation, which is expected to start operating in the first half of 2009.

The foundation will bring together Nokia, AT&T, LG, Motorola, NTT Docomo, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone in collaboration on a new, royalty-free open software platform for mobile phones.

The aim is to unite several different operating systems - Symbian OS, S60, UIQ and MOAP - in one royalty-free open standard under the Symbian banner.

The deal is a logical move, according to Handelsbanked analyst Karri Rinta.

"There was pressure for Nokia to increase its holding, especially since there were owners such as Panasonic and Siemens, who were there for historical reasons."

The news comes one day after reports that Google's Android platform for mobile phones had suffered delays.

According to the Wall Street Journal, several firms who had signed up to the open-source platform were having difficulty coming up with their own custom applications in time for the planned launch later this year.

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