In a PDF published today the US Department of Justice formally gave their approval to Microsoft’s deal to purchase Nokia’s handset division for $7.2 billion.
The approval brings the deal one stop closer to completion, with Nokia’s shareholders already having given it their overwhelming approval, and the EU strongly rumoured to also be ready to approve the deal unconditionally. That decision is expected on the 4th December.
The deal with make Microsoft an OEM with handset sales of more than 60 million per quarter, most of which are feature phones, but which would still give Microsoft a significant footprint with consumers they did not have before. Nokia will continue as a cellphone infrastructure company, IP holder and also as a mapping company, and may in a few years re-emerge as smartphone consumer company.
The deal is expected to complete early 2014.