Asia holds up sale of Nokia's mobile phone arm to Microsoft

Nokia has confirmed that a €5.4bn (£4.6bn) deal that will see its mobile phone division acquired by US-computing giant Microsoft has been pushed back until next month (April).

It had been thought the sale of the Swedish company's Devices and Services business would be completed during the first quarter, but it still requires regulatory backing in Asia.

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In a statement, Nokia confirmed the deal had received "most of the required regulatory approvals" – including the US Department of Justice and the European Commission.

The firm also said it was making "good progress" on closing conditions and integration planning, but admitted the deal still needed approval form "certain antitrust authorities in Asia".

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Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president, legal and corporate affairs at Microsoft, also confirmed that the transaction is now likely to be concluded in April.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will take control of Nokia's Devices And Services arm, as well as securing licenses for the Swedish firm's patents and mapping services.

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Tough competition has seen Nokia struggle in the mobile phone market, while Microsoft has come under fire for failing to respond to recent growth in smartphone and tablet sales.

At MWC 2014, however, Nokia unveiled its first ever Android phones in the shape of the X Series (above), which will run "Android apps, Microsoft services and signature Nokia experiences".

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by Pete Hayman

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Pete was content editor on What Hi-Fi?, overseeing production and publication of digital content. In creating and curating feature articles for web and print consumption, he provided digital and editorial expertise and support to help reposition What Hi-Fi? as a ‘digital-first’ title; reflecting the contemporary media trends. He is now a senior content strategist.