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Ottawa won't rule out Nortel intervention

Industry Minister Tony Clement

Adrian Wyld

Industry Minister Tony Clement says he hasn't ruled out intervening in the sale of Nortel Networks Corp. but wants more information before making a decision.

Ontario is calling on the federal government to stop the transfer of the next generation of wireless technology developed by troubled Nortel in its sale to LM Ericsson.

The Swedish telecommunications giant has agreed to purchase Nortel Networks' profitable wireless business for $1.13-billion (U.S.).

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But Ontario's finance minister, Dwight Duncan, says Canadian taxpayers helped fund research that led to Nortel's creation of LTE, or long-term evolution, technology and it shouldn't go to a foreign company.

Mr. Clement says he's "not in a position to pre-judge the issue." He says there is a national security test that the deal will have to pass before it proceeds, and the government will consider all of the facts.

Mr. Duncan says he wants Ottawa to block the Nortel sale to Ericsson and to help broker a deal with Research In Motion Ltd. or another Canadian firm to keep the technology and development jobs in Canada.

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