Here's one for the “only in America” pile: a chap across the Atlantic has filed a class action suit against Nokia, claiming that it broke federal securities laws by failing to deliver on promises that switching to Windows Phone would turn its fortunes around.
The rest of us may be willing to give Nokia a bit more time, but it seems the company's latest financial figures were the final straw for Robert Chmielinski, who decided to sue on behalf of all Nokia stock holders.
“The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants told investors that Nokia’s conversion to a Windows platform would halt its deteriorating position in the smartphone market,” the lawsuit alleges. “It did not.
“This became apparent on April 11, 2012, when Nokia disclosed that its first quarter performance would be worse than expected.”
So Chmielinski wants to punish Nokia for not having made enough money... by forking over large sums of cash. Great long-term strategy, that.
But wait – there's more: “[Nokia] also disclosed a glitch in its newest Windows offering – the Lumia 900. Nokia had to immediately offer customers an automatic $100, making the phone essentially free,” the complaint continued. “As a result of this disclosure, the price of Nokia’s American Depositary Shares dropped over 16% in a single day.”
So a move that was almost universally praised at the time for being a big PR win for Nokia and a perfect example of how to turn a negative into a positive also doesn't meet with Chmielinski's approval.
Nokia has issued a statement in response, and unsurprisingly it doesn't feel there's much of a case to answer: “Nokia is reviewing the allegations contained in the complaint and believes that they are without merit. Nokia will defend itself against the complaint.”
It's not often I find myself siding with corporate interests over those of individuals, but in this case it's hard not to. Expecting a company of Nokia's size to get immediate results from a near-total restructuring is just ridiculous. Suing it for not having done so is idiotic.