Microsoft-Nokia deal approved by US Department of Justice

By Danny Palmer
03 Dec 2013 View Comments
Green light at a traffic light

Antitrust regulators in the US have approved Microsoft's $7bn (£4.6bn) acquisition of Nokia's mobile phone business.

The deal, announced in September, sees Microsoft take ownership of Nokia's Devices and Services business, which includes its smartphone and mobile phone divisions, design teams, manufacturing and assembly facilities and all operations, sales and marketing teams.

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The Federal Trade Commission announced the deal had been approved on Monday. Microsoft wasn't expected to encounter any problems within the US about its acquisition of Nokia but the corporation is pleased to have cleared the hurdle.

"We look forward to the date when our partners at Nokia will become members of the Microsoft family, and are pleased that the Department of Justice has cleared the deal unconditionally," Microsoft said in a statement.

The Microsoft-Nokia deal still needs to be cleared by European regulators, but there's no reason to suspect that authorities in Brussels will block the acquisition. The European Union competition watchdog is believed to have set a date of 4 December for a decision.

Nokia shareholders approved the deal last month, with 99.5 per cent of the firm's 3,900 investors voting in favour of the merger at a meeting in Helsinki, Finland. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will move to Microsoft as part of the deal and is reportedly one of the favourites to replace outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Microsoft has aquired Nokia to help boost its push into the smartphone market, currently dominated by the likes of Google Android-powered Samsung devices and Apple iPhones.

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