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Nokia and Microsoft deal delayed until April

No fooling the regulators
Mon Mar 24 2014, 10:41
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REGULATORS have delayed the multi-billion dollar deal between Nokia and Microsoft, according to the companies.

Microsoft EVP for legal and corporate affairs Brad Smith said that several regulatory bodies have already approved its deal to buy Nokia's devices business, but added that a few more approvals are still needed.

"We are nearing the final stages of our global regulatory approval process - to date we have received approvals from regulatory authorities in 15 markets on five continents. Currently, we are awaiting approval confirmation in the final markets. This work has been progressing, and we expect to close next month, in April 2014," he said.

"We're looking forward to accelerating innovation and market adoption for Windows Phones and introducing the next billion customers to Microsoft services via Nokia mobile phones. In the interim, our top priority continues to be maintaining a great experience for consumers and business continuity for our partners."

Smith was still optimistic about the possibilities presented by the Nokia buyout.

"The completion of this acquisition will mark the first step to bring Microsoft and the Nokia Devices and Services business together," he added. "Our acquisition will accelerate our mobile-first, cloud-first imperatives."

In its post on the subject, Nokia distanced the delay from tax issues in India, and focused attention for the delay on Asia.

"Nokia and Microsoft continue to make good progress related to the closing conditions and integration planning," the Finnish phone maker said. "However, the transaction is pending approvals from certain antitrust authorities in Asia which are still conducting their reviews."

With most regulators having already approved the acquisition, both firms still expect the deal to go through.

Microsoft agreed to buy the phone business and license patents from the Finnish firm in autumn 2013 for €5.4bn ($7.2bn, £4.6bn).

Then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was confident of regulatory approval and a positive future. "It's a bold step into the future - a win-win for employees, shareholders and consumers of both companies. Bringing these great teams together will accelerate Microsoft's share and profits in phones, and strengthen the overall opportunities for both Microsoft and our partners across our entire family of devices and services," he said.

"In addition to their innovation and strength in phones at all price points, Nokia brings proven capability and talent in critical areas such as hardware design and engineering, supply chain and manufacturing management, and hardware sales, marketing and distribution." µ


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