Boy, Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Nokia's Devices & Services division sure is speeding toward completion. Just two days after receiving approval from the U.S. Department of Justice, the deal has been given the green light by the European Commission, meaning that Microsoft and Nokia's hardware arm have cleared another major hurdle on their way to becoming one.
In the announcement of its decision, the EU explains that if feels that the deal won't raise any competition concerns because there is only "minimal overlap" between the two companies' offerings and that the combination of Microsoft's mobile OSes, mobile apps and enterprise software with Nokia's devices isn't likely to shut out any competitors. The EU went on to say that Microsoft is unlikely to restrict third-party access to its OSes after the deal because it needs those other firms to help improve its limited market share in the mobile world.
Originally announced in early September, this deal will see Microsoft dropping a cool $7.2 billion in exchange for Nokia's Devices & Services division, which is involved in the creation of the Finnish firm's hardware. Microsoft will also be getting a license to Nokia-held patents. Since it was made official, the deal has been approved by Nokia shareholders, the U.S. Justice Department and now the European Commission. Microsoft has said that it expects the acquisition to reach completion in early 2014, and if it keeps up this pace, that estimate has a pretty good chance of proving accurate.