Court Lifts Nokia Factory Freeze in Tax Dispute

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December 12, 2013 9:28 PM EST

A court on Thursday accepted Nokia's appeal to release its local factory after its seizure by authorities in a tax dispute, removing a hurdle for the sale of the company's mobile phone business to Microsoft (MSFT.O).

The Chennai plant is one of Nokia's (NOK1V.HE) biggest phone-making factories. Nokia appealed the seizure and has been trying to end the dispute ahead of the closure of the 5.4 billion euro Microsoft deal.

The court asked the Finnish company to deposit 22.50 billion rupees in an escrow account, while the tax demand case will continue separately.

In March, Nokia was served with a tax demand of about 20.8 billion rupees for five fiscal years starting from 2006-07, according to a March 22 notice on the Delhi High Court website.

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