Microsoft's $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia gets approved in China

Regulators in China have signed off on Microsoft’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services business, setting the stage for the deal to close later this month. Nokia announced the news this morning. The U.S. and European Commission previously approved the deal, but the acquisition had been delayed by one month as authorities in China completed their review. Google and Samsung had asked Chinese authorities to consider patent issues in their review of the deal.

Nokia has won approval from Chinese competition authorities to sell its mobile phone business to Microsoft Corp without having to change its main technology patent practices, it said on Tuesday. The Finnish company agreed in September to sell its flagship business to Microsoft in a 5.4 billion euro ($7.4 billion) deal. However, it kept its patent portfolio, viewed by analysts as a promising source of future growth. Nokia’s announcement on Tuesday sent its shares up 3.1 percent to 5.49 euros as investors had feared Chinese regulators could demand tough future conditions for Nokia’s patents business. Nokia said it still expected the Microsoft deal to close this month but would not comment on which approvals were still needed before that.

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