LONDON The European Commission has started an in depth examination of Nokia's proposed acquisition of U.S digital mapping firm Navteq.
The $8.1bn deal would give Nokia control over the world's largest mapmaker. Nokia plans to use the purchase as the foundation for its web services portfolio.
The Commission has extended its deliberations by 90 working days, with an option of taking as much as 125 days under certain conditions. The extension does not signal how the EC would ultimately rule on the deal .
The EC said its initial investigation found potential problems the deal could pose to the market for navigable digital maps.
In response, Navteq and Nokia said in statements they remained committed to the deal, announced back in October, adding they remain confident that the deal will ultimately be approved.
"Navteq remains enthusiastic about the pending acquisition by Nokia and the potential benefits to all our customers," said Navteq president and chief executive Judson Green. "We will continue to provide any support we can in Nokia's ongoing discussions with the European Commission."
Rick Siminson, Nokia's chief financial officer, said the mobile phone maker has been actively negotiating with the Commission to fine tune the deal and earn its approval.
"We have listened to the Commission's concerns, and look forward to finding a common understanding that will enable the transaction to be closed," he said.
Nokia needs EC approval for the deal to go through. If approved, the acquisition could bring major changes to the navigation market since Nokia is expected to launch its own navigation devices, including navigation-enabled smartphones, to compete with the popular namesake device from Garmin, which relies on Navteq for mapping data.