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April 9, 2014

China approves Microsoft’s Nokia acquisition

Transaction will be closed April 2014.

By CBR Staff Writer

Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China has approved Nokia’s €5.4bn sale of its Devices & Services division to Microsoft, without requiring it to modify its key technology patent practises.

The deal, which was signed in September 2013, has now received regulatory approvals from China, the European Commission, the US Department of Justice and other authorities, in line with their plans to close the transaction during April 2014.

Nokia said in a statement: "The regulatory approval process has involved a thorough review of Nokia’s patent licensing practises by several competition authorities around the world.

"During that process, no authority has challenged Nokia’s compliance with its FRAND undertakings related to standard-essential patents (licensing on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms) or requested that Nokia make changes to its licensing program or royalty terms," the Finnish mobile firm added.

As part of the approval process, Microsoft agreed to comply with several conditions associated with its patent licensing practises, including offering nonexclusive licenses for Android smartphones.

The conditions, which would last for eight years, requires the US software major to offer its standard-essential patents for licensing on FRAND terms.

The latest approval would bolster Nokia’s focus on its wireless-networks unit, while assisting Microsoft to better contend in the mobile communications industry against Apple, Google and Samsung.

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