Green light given for Microsoft-Nokia deal

Green light given for Microsoft-Nokia deal

Technology giant Microsoft has been given the go-ahead to complete a deal for Nokia's devices and services division.

Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith wrote in a blog post on Monday (April 21st) that the transaction would be completed by the end of this week, bringing a long-running saga to a conclusion.

The deal between the two firms was originally announced back in September, but has been the subject of a number of delays, mainly due to the legal hurdles from a number of governments around the world. The US and Europe was prompt in approving the deal but countries such as China delayed the acquisition being completed due to concerns over patents.

The lengthy process means that the terms of the purchase have changed dramatically from those first outlined back in September, with 21 employees from Nokia in China now set to join Microsoft.

The computer giant will also manage the nokia.com domain, as well as Nokia's social media platforms, for a period of at least one year.

Meanwhile, there has been a change of heart in regard to Nokia's manufacturing site in Masan, South Korea, which was initially going to be taken over by Microsoft. It remains unclear as to whether Nokia will keep the facility or sell it off.

One certainty is that the deal for Nokia's handset division is set to leave the remaining Finnish proportion of the company to focus on non-phone businesses.

Among the projects set to be worked on include the HERE mapping arm and even research into future technologies such as self-driving cars.

Nokia's device-making division has recently been running at a loss, but analysts claim that selling it off to Microsoft will help to stabilise the rest of the company.

Sami Sarkamies, senior analyst at Nordea Markets, told CNBC in a phone interview: "If you look at the past few years it has been a rollercoaster ride for Nokia.

"We have seen huge disappointments in the handset business, but the new company will have a stable balance sheet and it will be holding profitable businesses."