The Federal Trade Commission has signed off on the Nokia-Microsoft deal, meaning that there is little if anything left that could derail the potential marriage of Microsoft’s money and Nokia’s hardware business.
The deal, worth around $7.2 billion, will see Microsoft absorb the largest OEM for its Windows Phone line of smartphones. Nokia controls more than 90 percent of Windows Phone hardware sales, meaning that Microsoft is purchasing hegemony over its own platform. The sticker price, something that can be presumably paid using offshore cash, is a sum that Nokia will revel in and Microsoft won’t miss. The company is intensely cash rich at the moment and is trying to find places to stick its excess monies.
Microsoft provided a statement to The Verge indicating that it is “[looking] forward to the date when our partners at Nokia will become members of the Microsoft family, and are pleased that the Department of Justice has cleared the deal unconditionally.”
The deal has already achieved approval from Nokia shareholders.
Microsoft’s hard turn into the device business is about to greatly expand. Its Surface line of tablets is a new move for the company, as it has long depended on third-party OEMs to vend computers running its software. However, with the addition of the Lumia line of handsets to Redmond’s portfolio, Microsoft will manufacture its own computers, smartphones and consoles.
Those three device classes are, of course, the three screens on which the company is building out and unifying its Windows platform.
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