The US Department of Justice has OK'd Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's devices and services businesses, clearing the way for the firms to finalize the $7.2 billion transaction in early 2014. The only remaining major regulatory body that needs to weigh in is the European Union's European Commission, and that decision is expected within days.
"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," a Microsoft statement notes.
The DOJ cleared the deal last Friday, on November 29, 2013, according to a regulatory filing.
Microsoft announced its intention to purchase Nokia's devices and services businesses in September. Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft will acquire over 32,000 Nokia employees plus the latter firm's Lumia, Asha and Nokia handset businesses, its online services and apps teams, plus long-term licenses to various patents, brands, and HERE location technologies.
Since the deal won't change the competitive landscape in any way, it was always expected to pass regulatory muster, and it has done so fairly rapidly, with various regulatory agencies such as the Competition Commission of India (CCI) OKing the deal already. Nokia's shareholders approved the acquisition in November, and the EU said in late October that it would issue a decision by December 4.