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Psion's Potter gets his wrists slapped

Naughty Psion didn't mention Symbian sale
Sun Feb 22 2004, 19:05
THE SUDDEN sale by Psion of its stake in Symbian is to be investigated by the UK's regulatory body - the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Psion parted with its 31 per cent share in Symbian to Nokia for around £140 million. However, its holding in Symbian represented a major part of its assets - since it had only just sold its software division to Visto of California.

The only other bit of Psion left generating significant revenues was thus its Teklogix division. The problem - for Psion - is that the rumours that Nokia was interested in buying the whole company (not just its Symbian holding) had been firmly squashed last November.

Yet the company must have been talking to Nokia - something which it forgot to tell its major shareholders. Hence there's a possibility that right up until the Symbian deal, its share price may have been artificially inflated.

The beast of Redmond must be secretly sniggering at this turn of events. Only a few years back it was embarrassed when its major supporter, Samsung, suddenly announced it was buying a stake in Symbian at 3GSM Cannes.

Now as the GSM show opens, the sale by Symbian's father - David Potter of Psion - of his company's stake in the OS is under investigation. Plus Potter has publicly allied Psion with Linux. Not the sort of distractions which Nokia - due to make a whole raft of announcements at the show - could do with.

Of course, the fact this report was generated on one Symbian device (a Psion Revo) and then delivered via another (a Nokia 3650) is entirely co-incidental. µ


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