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US Justice Department on Microsoft's Nokia acquisition: 'Go for it'

Next stop: The European Union's antitrust regulators

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The US Department of Justice has given its approval to Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia. The next step in the deal's finalization will up to the EU, which has said that it will issue its decision this Wednesday.

The DOJ's go-ahead came in the form of a notice, released Monday by the US Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition, that approval for the deal had been issued last Friday.

According to Reuters, the EU is poised to approve the acquisition. As one of Reuters' sources told them, "The [European] Commission is expected to clear the deal without conditions."

The acquisition was announced in early September, when Microsoft said it had offered to acquire "substantially all" of the Finnish phonemaker's Devices & Services business for €3.79bn ($5.14bn), including the Lumia brand and products.

In addition, Microsoft will also pop another €1.65bn ($2.24bn) to license Nokia patents for 10 years and license and use the company's mapping services. The total price tag for the the deal – we'll do the math for you – will be €5.44bn ($7.37bn).

Nokia's shareholders approved the deal in mid-November at a meeting attended by 5,000 in the Helsingin Jäähalliin (Helsinki Ice Hall), at which the company's interim CEO Risto Siilasmaa glumly intoned, "I understand the melancholy that many people have told me they feel."

In addition to acquiring Nokia's phone biz and licensing its patents and mapping services, Microsoft will also take over Nokia's Espoo, Finland, headquarters and anger hundreds of Chinese workers. ®

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