WASHINGTON Dec 2 U.S. antitrust regulators have
approved Microsoft Corp's deal to buy Nokia Corp's
mobile phone business, the Federal Trade Commission
said on Monday.
The approval, which was expected, was dated Nov. 29.
The next step will be for the companies to win approval in
Europe for the proposed $7.3 billion transaction.
Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Nov. 22
that the transaction was headed for unconditional approval in
Brussels. The EU competition watchdog has set a Dec. 4 deadline
for its decision.
Nokia had in September agreed to sell its devices and
services business and license its patents to Microsoft after
failing to recover from a late start in the smartphone sector.
The purchase underscores Microsoft's push into the
competitive consumer devices market, where it faces fierce
competition from market leader Samsung Electronics
Nokia shareholders in mid-November gave a thumbs-up to the
sale of what was once Finland's biggest brand, at one point
worth 4 percent of the national GDP.