A few months back Microsoft announced that it had agreed to purchase Nokia’s devices and services division for $7.17 billion. Even though both companies had agreed to the sale, Redmond still had a few hoops to jump through. At first there was the approval from Nokia’s shareholders, which was overwhelmingly in favor of the deal when voting was conducted last month. Then there’s the approval from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, both of which have signed off on the deal. The DoJ has cleared the acquisition unconditionally, which means that Microsoft is one step closer to finishing the acquisition.
Since Nokia is a Finnish company, an acquisition of its division would require approval from regulators in the EU. Recent reports suggest that EU regulators are likely to sign off on the deal as well without imposing any conditions. Once the acquisition is completed and Microsoft ends up establishing base at Nokia House in Finland, the ex-Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will go back to Microsoft and head an expanded devices team which will include Windows Phone devices, Surface tablet and the Xbox console. Rumors have pegged him as a possible candidate for the top slot at Redmond, as CEO Steve Ballmer has already announced his plans to step down within the next 12 months.