Microsoft has been given the all-clear to acquire Nokia's mobile phone business
by the European Commission (EC). The clearance
by the regulatory body comes just one day after the US Department of Justice
approved the deal, two weeks after Nokia's shareholders
made a similar decision, leaving little in the way of obstructions left for the $7.2 billion deal.
The EC's report finds that the two companies minimally overlap in the field of smartphones and tablets, and that "several strong rivals, such as Samsung and Apple will continue to compete with the merged entity." Investigations into a number of "vertical relationships" between Nokia and Microsoft also found that there would be little in the way of issues, though it intends to "remain vigilant and closely monitor Nokia's post-merger licensing practices under EU antitrust rules."
The transaction, which will see 32,000 Nokia employees and the Devices and Services arm being handed over to Microsoft, along with ten-year licenses for parts of Nokia's patent portfolio and branding, is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2014.