EU regulators likely to approve Microsoft-Nokia deal
Insiders say competition watchdog unlikely to hamper $7.3bn sale of Nokia’s devices arm
Microsoft Corp is likely to secure approval from European regulators for its proposed $7.3bn acquisition of Nokia's devices unit, Reuters reported.
The approval would represent the last major hurdle in Microsoft's bid to take control of a property that would significantly beef up its hardware portfolio as the one-time software leader seeks to reinvent itself as a devices and services business.
The deal includes the 10-year licensing of Nokia's patents and was approved by shareholders at a meeting in Helsinki last week. According to Reuters, regulators in other markets, including Russia, India and Turkey, have already given agreed to the deal.
The EU competition watchdog has said it will announce its decision by 4 December. If insiders quoted by Reuters are correct, and the transaction is passed without conditions, then Microsoft could finally find itself able to challenge Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc in the smartphones and tablets markets.