Nokia shareholder files lawsuit, claims giant 'misled' investors over Windows Phone deal

Finnish firm hyped up Lumia

Nokia shareholder files lawsuit, claims giant 'misled' investors over Windows Phone deal
Nokia's view that its shift to Windows Phone will up its smartphone share has been challenged by shareholder Robert Chmielinski, who claims the firm has wilfully misled its investors.

Chmielinski has filed a class action lawsuit against Nokia in New York, centering around the idea the manufacturer falsely talked up Lumia's chances of reviving revenues at the company.


That's something, in Chmielinski's view, it has so far failed to do.

Costly slip ups

"The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants told investors that Nokia’s conversion to a Windows platform would halt its deteriorating position in the smartphone market," said lawyers representing Chmielinski.

"It did not. This became apparent on April 11, 2012, when Nokia disclosed that its first quarter performance would be worse than expected."

Said lawyers also make reference to a "glitch" with the Lumia 900, which resulted in Nokia offering customers an automatic $100 in the US, making the phone "essentially free."

Nokia itself has reported mixed fortunes for its Lumia range so far.

While CEO Stephen Elop has claimed sales in the US have exceeded expectations, making ground in European markets such as the UK – where Nokia is traditionally strong – has proved harder going than previously thought.

Fraud and deceit

Chmielinski isn't criticising Nokia for failing to judge the ups and downs of the smartphone market accurately, however – something even the most established of commentators and analysts are guilty of.

Rather, his view is Nokia knew exactly how tough times were going to be, but talked up its chances regardless in order to justify its wholesale move towards Microsoft's platform to shareholders.

"During the Class Period, defendants had both the motive and opportunity to conduct fraud," adds Chmielinski's complaint, which can be viewed in PDF form.

"They also had actual knowledge of the misleading nature of the statements they made or acted in reckless disregard of the true information known to them at the time.

"In so doing, the defendants participated in a scheme to defraud and committed acts, practices and participated in a course of business that operated as a fraud or deceit on purchasers of Nokia securities during the Class Period."

Chmielinksi's chances of success are unknown, but either way, the mere suggestion of a revolt within Nokia's shareholders is especially bad PR for the firm during what's already an admittedly difficult period.

[source: TheNextWeb/IntoMobile]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


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