Microsoft-Nokia deal almost a reality, approved by US regulators

Microsoft has received approval from the US Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission for its  $7.2 billion pending acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services Unit, giving both companies some of the last approvals before the deal officially goes through.

"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," Microsoft said in a statement to Pocket-lint. 

Monday's approval from US regulators is one less hurdle, and it follows Nokia shareholders' approval in mid-November. The final vote among the shareholders - for a deal that will bring the Lumia line in-house at Microsoft - was a 99.7 per cent approval   

For the $7.2 billion deal to be finalised, Microsoft and Nokia must gain approval from regulators in Europe. It's believed by industry insiders and pundits that this shouldn't cause any problems. 

A deal between Microsoft and Nokia has long been a dream of the technology industry, with Nokia being the biggest hardware manufacturer pushing Microsoft's Windows Phone 8. Neither company has revealed how the Lumia line will fall into Microsoft's current range of devices - such as the Surface tablet - but have said manufacturers like HTC will still be able to access Windows Phone for their devices.

Microsoft is currently going through a significant restructuring. Its chief executive ,Steve Ballmer, plans to retire from the company by August 2014. Nokia's chief executive Stephen Elop will be going to Microsoft to lead hardware, but many reports have noted that he could even be its next CEO. Ford's Alan Mulally is also said to be being considered for CEO by Microsoft. 

All eyes now turn to European egulators for the deal to become final.



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