The acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services
section by Microsoft has taken one more step towards completion. The US Department of Justice approval
in a Federal trade Commission filing has effectively completed the deal's regulatory processes in the United States, effectively leaving just the European regulators standing in its way.
"We look forward to the date when our partners at Nokia will become members of the Microsoft family," reads a Microsoft statement received by The Verge
. The company is also "pleased that the Department of Justice has cleared the deal unconditionally."
Nokia headquarters (Espoo, Finland)
Though the European regulators still have to weigh in on the situation, reports have suggested
that the European Commission is close to clearing the sale without any preconditions. Regulators in Russia, Turkey, India, and Israel have already given the all-clear to the sale, leaving Europe the last major milestone for the $7.2 billion transaction to take place. On November 19th, Nokia shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favor of the deal, with 99.7 percent agreeing to it at a special meeting.
As part of the deal, Microsoft will take control of Nokia's headquarters
in Espoo, Finland, with the phone maker said to be "quietly preparing to move out" to another nearby location. A large proportion of the 32,000 Nokia employees switching to Microsoft work out of the buildings, which are in fact leased by Nokia after the company sold them last year, with both Microsoft and Nokia advising that personnel will remain there after the purchase.