Mobile computing software joint venture Symbian doesn't expect its recruitment of Motorola to raise any anti-competitive concerns at the European Commission.
The EC has asked for comments on the addition last month of Motorola as a shareholder of Symbian, the joint venture company formed by Psion, Ericsson and Nokia in June 1988 to create an operating system for mobile devices.
Analysts said that because Symbian is developing its EPOC operating system as an open platform, and because Microsoft is its nearest competitor through its recently announced partnership with Qualcomm, the joint venture is unlikely to hit any regulatory hurdles.
Motorola became a Symbian shareholder in October. Its Starfish TrueSync technology enables synchronisation of wireless devices at multiple locations. Symbian will also work with Motorola to provide support for EPOC to be ported to the MoCORE microprocessor RISC architecture.
Symbian attained regulatory approval from the EC after its creation, and has had to acquire further approval following the addition of Motorola, to ensure that it will not unfairly compete with other mobile phone manufacturers and software developers.
"The EC is trying to ensure that there is no anticompetitive practice, and we have no reason to believe there is," said a Symbian spokesman. "There is no favouritism because of the open platform, so we're not expecting any problems."
Mobile communications analyst Peter Richardson at Dataquest said it would be hard to find anyone who would be disadvantaged by the creation of Symbian.
"Other manufacturers shouldn't be disadvantaged because EPOC is proposed as an open platform. It is in their interest to give it out to as wide an audience as possible," said Richardson.
Microsoft is working with Qualcomm on Wireless Knowledge, a Windows CE based product that will compete with Symbian. "But no one ever objected to people competing with Microsoft," said Richardson.
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