BEIJING, Feb. 8 (Afp) – Vice President Mike Pence and senior White House economic advisers on Friday rejected an unusual proposal by U.S. Attorney General William Barr, according tomedia reports. The U.S. should consider taking a controlling stake in two telecom sitories, Ericsson and Nokia.
Mr Barr, a former general counsel to Verizon Communications, the US telecoms operator, said on Thursday that the US and its allies should consider acquiring a controlling stake in Nokia and Ericsson to better compete with the next generation of 5G wireless technology.
In response, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said late Friday that the U.S. is working closely with Nokia and Ericsson, both of which have equipment critical to building 5G infrastructure in the U.S. But Mr Kudlow also points out: “The US government does not engage in acquisitions, whether domestic or foreign.” “
Earlier Friday, Vice President Mike Pence also dismissed Barr’s suggestion. “We have great respect for Attorney General Barr, but we believe that the best approach is the plan that Pankit (chairman of the Federal Communications Commission) has announced over the past few days,” Pence said. “
Ajit Pai said recently that the US would pay nearly $10bn to free up some C-band spectrum for some satellite radio and television companies to allow US telecoms companies to build a 5G communications network in that band. After taking back the bands, the U.S. government plans to auction them off at the end of the year to match the operator’s 5G network expansion plan.
“This is a plan that the president has approved and will be implemented in the future,” Pence said. He added that the U.S. could “exploit the power of the free market and American companies” to expand the 5G network.
Nokia’s shares rose 4 per cent on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, while Ericsson’s rose nearly 5.4 per cent on the Nasdaq. With a combined market capitalisation of about $53bn, it is unclear where the US government might get the money to make a potential share acquisition, or whether regulators in other countries will approve the potential acquisition.
According to Barr, the United States and its allies could do so “through direct U.S. holdings of control or through consortium holdings of u.S. private companies and related companies.” “Injecting one or both of these companies into our vast market and financial strength will make them an exceptionally strong competitor and dispel concerns about their viability,” Mr Barr said at the time. “。