DOJ gives OK to Microsoft-Nokia deal

Microsoft's planned $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia's devices and services business wins approval from the Justice Department, but it still has to face the European Union.

Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop at Microsoft-Nokia event in New York, 9/5/12
Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and Nokia's Stephen Elop at an event in New York in 2012. Sarah Tew/CNET

The US Department of Justice has given its approval to Microsoft's pending acquisition of Nokia's mobile devices and services business.

The transaction got the DOJ nod on November 29, according to the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition notification on December 2.

"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," said a Microsoft spokesperson in a prepared statement.

Last month, Nokia shareholders gave their approval to the deal during an extraordinary general meeting in Helsinki. Indian authorities gave their approval to the Microsoft-Nokia deal earlier this fall.

The next hurdle for the deal will be the European Union. Antitrust regulators there are on tap to decide whether or not Microsoft's bid breaches the EU's competition rules. Reuters reported in October that the European Commission would decide by December 4 whether or not to clear the acquisition. (It can extend the review by an additional 10 business days if needed to weigh possible concessions by Microsoft if there are any concerns.)

Microsoft went public with plans to buy Nokia's devices and services business, plus license a number of its patents, for $7.2 billion in September. Microsoft officials have said they expect the transaction to be completed around the first quarter of 2014.

This story originally appeared as "U.S. Department of Justice gives Microsoft-Nokia deal the OK" on ZDNet.

About the author

    Mary Jo Foley has been a tech journalist for almost 30 years. She is editor of ZDNet's "All About Microsoft" blog. She authored "Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft Plans to Stay Relevant in the Post-Gates Era" and co-hosts the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT Network.



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