Another hurdle is out of Redmond’s way to close its acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services division. The European Commission approved the deal today, saying that the overlap of the activities of both companies is minimal and strong rivals such as Apple and Samsung will continue to compete with the merged entity. European Commission’s approval comes merely days after the U.S. Department of Justice approved the deal from its end. With Nokia shareholder approval already in the bag, there’s not much that can jeopardize the deal in any way now.
When Microsoft announced its decision to acquire Nokia’s division for $7.17 billion, it detailed its intention to close the transaction in early 2014. Given how smoothly all regulatory hurdles have been crossed, it certainly looks like Microsoft will be able to meet the timeline it set out. Upon completion of the deal, Microsoft will take residence in the once iconic Nokia House. Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will head back to Redmond where he will lead an expanded devices team, which would include smartphones, Surface tablets and the Xbox console. There have been rumors that Elop is being considered for the CEO slot at Microsoft, though no official announcement has been made as yet.