Just days after regulators in the United States cleared Microsoft's proposed $7.2 billion purchase of Nokia's devices and services businesses, the European Union (EU) has approved the sale as well. Noting that the transaction didn't raise any competitive concerns, the EU's European Commission (EC) issued its OK on Wednesday.
"The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise any competition concerns, in particular because there are only modest overlaps between the parties' activities and the links between Microsoft's mobile operating systems, mobile applications, and enterprise mail server software with Nokia's smart mobile devices are unlikely to lead to competitors being shut out from the market," the EC statement reads.
As the EC noted, Microsoft and Nokia's combined share of the mobile market is "limited" and Microsoft, as a result, "is unlikely to restrict the supply of its mobile apps, such as its Office suite apps and its communication app Skype, to competing providers of smart mobile devices."
"We are pleased that the European Commission has cleared the deal without conditions," a Microsoft statement reads. "We look forward to the date when our partners at Nokia will become members of the Microsoft family."
That day can't be far off: The EC was the final major regulatory hurdle for this transaction. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) unconditionally OK'd Microsoft's purchase of Nokia in very late November. Other regulatory bodies, and Nokia's shareholders, have all approved the deal as well.
Microsoft is expected to close the Nokia devices and services deal in early 2014.