© The United States Department of Justice Electronics Production | February 07, 2020
William Barr wants US to o buy stakes in Ericsson and Nokia
U.S. Attorney General William Barr said during the China Initiative Conference that the US should consider acquiring a controlling stake in Ericsson and Nokia to counter the threat from Chinese telecom giant Huawei.
During the "China Initiative Conference", hosted by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), William Barr stated that There are only two companies that can compete with Huawei right now as 5G infrastructure suppliers; namely Swedish Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia. And the Attorney General believes that the best strategy to counter the Chinese telecom company – and Chinese espionage – would be to buy one of its competitors. According to Barr, this could be done through American ownership of a controlling stake, either directly or through a consortium of private American and allied companies. “Putting our large market and financial muscle behind one or both of these firms would make it a more formidable competitor and eliminate concerns over its staying power,” Barr said during the conference. He elaborated saying that what the US needs is a product that can win contracts right now; “a proven infrastructure that network operators will make a long-term commitment to today. In other words, we need a product that can blunt and turnaround Huawei’s momentum currently.” Neither Ericsson nor Nokia have chosen to comment on William Barr's statements.