updated 03:19 pm EST, Mon December 2, 2013
DOJ approval effectively leaves European regulators as last major acquisitions hurdle
The acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services section by Microsoft has taken one more step towards completion. The US Department of Justice approval in a Federal trade Commission filing has effectively completed the deal's regulatory processes in the United States, effectively leaving just the European regulators standing in its way.
"We look forward to the date when our partners at Nokia will become members of the Microsoft family," reads a Microsoft statement received by The Verge. The company is also "pleased that the Department of Justice has cleared the deal unconditionally."
Nokia headquarters (Espoo, Finland)
Though the European regulators still have to weigh in on the situation, reports have suggested that the European Commission is close to clearing the sale without any preconditions. Regulators in Russia, Turkey, India, and Israel have already given the all-clear to the sale, leaving Europe the last major milestone for the $7.2 billion transaction to take place. On November 19th, Nokia shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favor of the deal, with 99.7 percent agreeing to it at a special meeting.
As part of the deal, Microsoft will take control of Nokia's headquarters in Espoo, Finland, with the phone maker said to be "quietly preparing to move out" to another nearby location. A large proportion of the 32,000 Nokia employees switching to Microsoft work out of the buildings, which are in fact leased by Nokia after the company sold them last year, with both Microsoft and Nokia advising that personnel will remain there after the purchase.