European Commission gives go-ahead for Microsoft’s Nokia acquisition

SteveBallmerandNokia_WebFollowing Monday’s announcement that the U.S. Justice Department has cleared Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services business for $7.2 billion, the European Commission announced today that after reviewing the deal, it is also giving Microsoft the all clear to make the purchase without conditions.

The deal was first announced in early September of this year, and will bring the largest producer of Windows Phone devices under Microsoft’s roof as a part of its hardware division.

Interestingly, Windows Phone’s relatively small share of the smartphone market may have worked to Microsoft’s advantage in the acquisition. In the Commission’s press release, Microsoft’s lack of mobile market share was frequently cited as a reason for the company to make technologies like Skype available to users of other mobile platforms.

Stephen Elop, Nokia’s former CEO, will be coming back to Redmond to head up Microsoft’s hardware division. He’s also reportedly in the running for Steve Ballmer’s job, but recent rumors peg him as less likely to get the nod.

The Commission appears to be the last regulatory hurdle Microsoft needs to clear before it can complete the acquisition, which means that Microsoft is soon going to have many more Finns on its payroll.

We reached out to Microsoft for comment on this article, and will update the piece when we hear back.

Previously on GeekWire: Make no mistake: Nokia is Microsoft’s biggest deal ever