View Full Version : Microsoft, Nokia Deal Slated to Close April 25

04-28-2014, 10:41 AM
Microsoft, Nokia Deal Slated to Close April 25


Microsoft’s (MSFT) $7.2 billion deal to acquire Nokia’s (NOK) mobile phone business is set to close Friday, April 25, sealing a months-long process that apparently ended with the companies winning the last-leg nod from Chinese regulators.

The closing deal, which earlier secured regulatory approval from the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission, isn’t exactly the same as the original agreement. Microsoft elected not to take over Nokia’s 200-employee Korean manufacturing facility and hired 21 Nokia mobile phone workers located in China who initially were pegged to stay with the Finnish company. And, the two companies decided Microsoft will manage the nokia.com domain and social media sites for up to a year.

More importantly, perhaps, is some chatter that Microsoft will send the Nokia name out to pasture in favor of a new Microsoft Mobile nametag. Digital Trends reported that Nokia alluded to the rumored name change in a recent letter to its suppliers.

Microsoft Legal & Corporate Affairs general counsel Brad Smith, writing in a blog post, said the vendor has “completed the steps necessary to finalize Microsoft’s acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business. The transaction will be completed this Friday, April 25, when we’ll officially welcome the Nokia Devices and Services business as part of the Microsoft family.”

Smith said that Microsoft and Nokia “have made adjustments to the original deal throughout the close preparation process. We’ve entered into numerous agreements to address items ranging from manufacturing to IT.”

There was no word from either company about the fate of Nokia’s handset plant in India. The vendor is mired in a longstanding tax dispute with Indian tax officials, who may be holding up that portion of the transaction over handset and software license taxes. Nokia has denied that its tax issues with India delayed the deal’s closing.

Still, the delay pushed back outgoing Nokia chief Stephen Elop’s exit to take over Microsoft’s hardware unit, temporarily hamstrung Nokia’s rollout of a new wireless strategy and got in the way of its naming Elop's successor. Rajeev Suri, Nokia's Mobile Network Business head, is said to top the candidate list for the post.

With Nokia in tow, Microsoft will be able to compete worldwide on firmer footing against mobile stalwarts Apple (AAPL) and Samsung.