Microsoft's bid to buy Nokia's mobile phone business will likely gain approval from the European Union, according to sources close to the approval process. Persons familiar with the matter told Reuters this week that the European Commission is close to clearing the Nokia buy without any preconditions. The $7.2 billion transaction will remove Nokia from the mobile device manufacturing segment, while securing Microsoft as a company that makes not only software but computing hardware as well.
Representatives for the European Commission declined to comment on the matter, as did reps from Microsoft and Nokia. Regulators in Russia, India, Turkey, and Israel have already approved the sale, and Nokia's shareholders have also okayed the deal.
The agreement will see some 32,000 Nokia employees become Microsoft employees, though the software giant does not plan to do much relocating of staff. Instead, Microsoft is taking over Nokia's old headquarters, with the Finnish company moving into another building near by.
The deal will likely see completion in early 2014, with Microsoft taking hold of Nokia's Windows Phone-based Lumia line of devices, as well as its entry-level Asha range.