November 22, 2013 / 5:30 PM / 7 years ago

Microsoft to win EU okay for $7.3 billion Nokia deal: sources

A Nokia mobile phone lies on a tablet computer showing logos of Microsoft, in this illustration picture taken in Frankfurt, November 18, 2013. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Microsoft is set to secure unconditional EU regulatory approval for its proposed 5.4-billion-euro ($7.30 billion) takeover of Nokia’s mobile phone business, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The deal, announced in September and which includes a 10-year licensing agreement of Nokia’s patent portfolio, underscores Microsoft’s push into the competitive consumer devices market.

It faces fierce competition from market leader Samsung Electronics and Apple.

“The (European) Commission is expected to clear the deal without conditions,” one of the people said.

The EU competition watchdog has set a December 4 deadline for its decision. Commission spokesman for competition policy, Antoine Colombani, declined to comment. Microsoft also declined to comment. Nokia did not immediately reply to an email for comments.

Regulators in Russia, India, Turkey and Israel have already given the green light to the deal. Nokia shareholders earlier this week also gave a thumbs-up to the sale of what was once Finland’s biggest brand and worth 4 percent of the national GDP.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee

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