Nokia gets the go-ahead for Microsoft sale

Guy Bentley
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The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has approved Nokia's planned sale of its devices & services business to Microsoft, the company said on Tuesday.

The deal reached in September saw Nokia sell the business to Microsoft for €5.4bn (£4.4bn). However, Nokia retained its patent portfolio, which is seen by some analysts as an up-and-coming source of growth.

The approval process involved a variety of competition authorities from around the world examining Nokia's patent licensing practices.

Chinese regulators had been asked by Google and Samsung to ensure that the deal would not result in a hiking of licensing fees, according to media reports.

Nokia and Microsoft have now received regulatory approvals from the People's Republic of China, the European Commission, the US Department of Justice and several other jurisdictions.

Nokia was found to be in the clear in terms of compliance with its FRAND undertakings relating to standard-essential patents. Nor was there an authority that requested Nokia to make changes to its licensing programme or royalty terms.