Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Microsoft acquisition of Nokia Devices & Services business pushed out to Q2

Q1 has ticked to Q2. Microsoft and Nokia announced Sunday night (via Geekwire) that the acquisition of Nokia's devices and services business was going to miss the Q1 2014 estimate originally set for the deal's close.

The deal, which totals $7.2 billion, was originally expected to close this quarter. It won't miss that date by too much, assuming all goes well, will be completed next month. Nokia announced the delay in a press release that stated that both companies are still committed to the acquisition and that both remain confident that the deal will close.

Notably, it's not Microsoft's home country of the U.S. or Nokia's home country of Finland that appear to be the issue. Nokia said:
Nokia and Microsoft have already received most of the required regulatory approvals, including approvals from the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice. Furthermore, Nokia and Microsoft continue to make good progress related to the closing conditions and integration planning. However, the transaction is pending approvals from certain antitrust authorities in Asia which are still conducting their reviews.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, one holdup comes via Google and Samsung, who have asked Chinese authorities to consider how the deal could affect patent licensing fees.

In a post following up Nokia's press release, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said:
We wanted to provide a brief update on the status of the regulatory process for approval of Microsoft’s acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business. We are nearing the final stages of our global regulatory approval process – to date we have received approvals from regulatory authorities in 15 markets on five continents. Currently, we are awaiting approval confirmation in the final markets. This work has been progressing, and we expect to close next month, in April 2014.

The completion of this acquisition will mark the first step to bring Microsoft and the Nokia Devices and Services business together. Our acquisition will accelerate our mobile-first, cloud-first imperatives. We’re looking forward to accelerating innovation and market adoption for Windows Phones and introducing the next billion customers to Microsoft services via Nokia mobile phones.

In the interim, our top priority continues to be maintaining a great experience for consumers and business continuity for our partners.

We remain as excited as ever to welcome the Nokia Devices and Services business officially as part of the Microsoft family.

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