In September of last year Microsoft announced that it will acquire Nokia’s devices and services business to the tune of $7.2 billion. As expected with deals this large it doesn’t push through automatically as it has to be scrutinized first by the various antitrust authorities. The initial estimate was for this deal to complete by the first quarter of this year however a new announcement made by Nokia says that the deal will close this coming April.
Both Microsoft and Nokia are still committed to the transaction and the reason for this delay is the dragging regulatory approval from antitrust authorities in Asia which is expected to be completed by April. People who are familiar with the process say that China has still to sign its approval however both companies are optimistic that it will be done with the new timetable. The deal has already been approved by the US Justice Department and the EU Commission.
In the press release made by Nokia the company said that “As previously communicated, the closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Nokia and Microsoft have already received most of the required regulatory approvals, including approvals from the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice. Furthermore, Nokia and Microsoft continue to make good progress related to the closing conditions and integration planning. However, the transaction is pending approvals from certain antitrust authorities in Asia which are still conducting their reviews. Nokia and Microsoft continue to be confident that the transaction will close, resulting in the sale of substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business to Microsoft, and both companies are working diligently to close the transaction as expeditiously as possible.”
Once the deal has been closed Microsoft will own not just the device and services business of Nokia but the various patents the Finnish company holds as well. This will allow Microsoft to design and create its own smartphones without relying on third party manufacturers.
Nokia was once the world leader in the mobile phone industry however this changed with the entry of Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android devices.
Aside from this issue with competition authorities in China Nokia is also facing a tax dispute in India which the company says will not affect its sale to Microsoft.