European Commission clears deal between Microsoft and Nokia, purchase moves forward

It was just two days ago the U.S. Department of Justice gave the green light for the Microsoft-Nokia deal. As you recall, Microsoft is currently in the process of acquiring Nokia’s handset division for 7.2 billion dollars. As part of the deal, they’ll also license Nokia patents. One of the remaining hurdles was whether or not the European Commission would allow the sale. The European Commission has now cleared the deal in a press release that just went out. Details below.

A decision from the Commission was expected today and they delivered. The statement says that the proposed acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services by Microsoft would not raise any competition concerns. The overlap between the companies is minimal and won’t lead to any competitors being shut out of the market. The resulting acquisition will still allow rival like Samsung and Apple to compete with “MicroKia” after the deal is complete.

  • The Commission reached three conclusions that led to them clearing the deal between Microsoft and Nokia. They are:
  • Microsoft is unlikely to restrict the supply of its Windows OSs for smart mobile devices to third party manufacturers after the transaction
  • Microsoft is unlikely to restrict the supply of its mobile apps, such as its Office suite apps and its communication app Skype, to competing providers of smart mobile devices.
  • Microsoft would not have the ability to restrict the interoperability of competing smart mobile devices with Exchange Server, Microsoft's enterprise mail server software, because of the contractual terms of their current licenses to Microsoft patents covering the communication protocol that manages synchronization of email, calendar and contacts between smart mobile devices and Microsoft Exchange

The theme between the three justifications provided by the Commission center around the low market share of Windows Phone. Which is entirely true. While Windows Phone is currently the mobile operating system in third place, it’s a very distant third place when compared to iOS and Android. Depending on which market report you go off of, Windows Phone was only on 10% of devices sold this last quarter in 2013. This low market share helped relieve the concerns of the European Commission.

Source: European Commission, Via: ZDNet

Sam Sabri
  • Currently waiting on the edge of my seat for your comments, DJCBS...
  • LOL
    Let me sum it up for you... "Elop is a jerk.
    Windows Phone is doomed without a Nokia sticker.
    Microsoft will kill WP and Nokia.
    No one will ever buy a WP again.
    I'm buying a gold iPhone as soon as this deal is finalized, until then I'll keep ranting here."
  • DJCBS, is that you?
  • In the meantime I'll be riding this windows phone till the wheels fall off. Dude pick up a hobby.
  • Reliable sources say that DJCBS broke his phone upon hearing the news and is currently in the process on buying a Jolla Phone. "Newkia will live on..." was his final words as he sped off on his unicycle
  • Poor DJCBS, he's probably so butthurt
  • Not really. The President of the European Commission is as corrupt as it gets. This isn't surprising.
    It's also the kind of things that justify why the EU is colapsing.
  • I dont understand...why do people pick on u so much here ? everytime i noticed
  • If you'd have seen his comments when the acquisition was first announced, you'd say the same thing. He's wished death to Elop.
  • Wrong. I said jump from the Wall of China. Which doesn't mean death, at all. Something you'd know if you knew the Wall of China from outside Disney's Mulan. But I do wish Elop ill. I've said it yesterday. Along with losing the post as CEO of Microsoft, I wish him to lose his job altogether at the hand of Microsoft's new CEO.
  • Alright, I have no clue what you mean by the second sentence, but either way, just because someone messes up a company that you like is no excuse to wish them ill. I don't disagree on some of your points, but the attitude towards elop is what makes me sigh at some of your posts.
  • Because I defend Nokia over Microsoft and don't worship Windows Phone as they do. Because I believed logic and legallity would prevail on this deal. MS-fanboys don't take well on that. But don't worry. I don't really care what they thing, anyway ;P
  • U mad bro?
  • Legality?
    You implied the other day that the EU commission would break the law approving this deal, again I ask, what are these laws you speak of?
  • Commercial and Criminal laws. The management of a company with the purpose - either implicit or explicit - of devaluing it, and the management of a company against its best interests is against European laws. A CEO that comes from a company to another, radically changes the course of the company to put it on target for its former bosses, actively devalues the company's assets and ends up selling the company to its former bosses while getting a big paycheck and a high-paying job at its former bosses, is not an acceptable and legal practice.
    If it were any other smaller company doing this, the EU Commission would fall upon them hard. But it's a big American company. And the EU Commission doesn't do that against big American companies. Just like they didn't when the speculators of Standard and Poors, Moody's and Fitch sent various European countries into bankruptcy on purpose, thus provoking the EU economy to crash even more than it had already when USA authorities allowed the Lehman Brothers speculation schemes. Lehman Brothers that, curiously, was classified by the same rating agencies as A+++.
  • You really are delusional, aren't you?
  • Yes he really is. Those neurons aren't all firing right.
  • Where is the proof of this "purpose" that you reference in many of your posts? Do you really think that if there was misconduct as you propose that it wouldn't have been investigated? It's not like this theory wasn't espoused by many others as well. Who knows, maybe you and they were right all along and it will come out that Elop was a Trojan Horse. But without proof, you bringing this up over and over is just tiresome. I do agree with some of your points regarding the purchase. I think it would have been better for MS to purchase the whole of Nokia instead of just the handset division. I don't know the whole reason for why they didn't purchase Nokia in it's entirety but assume it was due to regulatory hurdles. I don't believe it was the desire of MS to destroy Nokia as you have stated before. However, I do think you have a valid argument as to the impact of losing the Nokia name on smartphones will have on sales. It will be interesting to see how much brand loyalty plays out going forward.  
  • "And the EU Commission doesn't do that against big American companies." Then explain why they fined Microsoft $731 milliion for alleged breach of their antitrust agreement. If there ever was company the EU would dump on, it would be Microsoft. The fact that they didn't speaks volumes about the reasonableness of this purchase.
  • The EU Commission wouldn't rule against a big American company like Microsoft? Either you are too young to remember or old enough that Alzheimer's has stripped your memory of the EU Commission fining Microsoft and requiring an EU-specific version of Windows because of the alleged unfairness of having IE included with the OS.
  • Logic and legality did prevail on the deal. You lose
  • ok so according to you what is the future of Windows Phones, Microsoft and Nokia ?
  • Your emotional and illogical arguments make no sense man. If you don't like Windows Phone then go buy a Jolla Phone which features products from ex Nokia employees. You serve yourself and no one any purpose with these emotional rants. Never wish pestilence on anyone, karma is a bitch my friend.
  • I think its because he is not a yes-man like most people on this board. I like his opposition as it brings discussion (I'll admit he goes way overboard sometimes) but in a world of yes-men and people so quick to bend-over, I like his difference/strong opinion for the (Con) on a mostly (Pro) board. But don't mind me I like debates.
  • Good thinking.
  • Sure every board needs a devil's adovcate but thats not what is happening here.
  • how's the weather in cupertino?
  •  everyone you talk about is a corrupt prick? wtf?
  • He's a tool
  • Ironic that he belittles everyone else as WP fan boys that are blinded... when he is the most blinded and delusional Nokia fan boy that exists.
  • WP fanboys like you, yes. But there's, fortunately a minority here of WP-fans with whom it is possible to have a serious discussion. However those people tend to: 1 - read everything; 2 - make comments with more substance than just insults. Neither of you falls within that category.
  • LOL
    Calls out differing opinions as WP fan boys. Is called a Nokia fan boy, complains about insults.
  • I tend to find what DJCBS says reasonable. Possibly on the extreme side, but still reasonable. This is a website where any opposition to windows phone is met with plenty of blind hate as if we are the only smart people in the world and the only reason windows phone doesn't have 40% of the market is that people haven't realized that we are way better than the other options. I don't think Microsoft buying Nokia devices was a bad idea. I think its a little strange about Elop, and I'm glad he isn't our CEO. But while Nokia might be exiting the phone world for good, it was one of their units that did not fare as well as their others. The public might love Nokia phones, but shareholders certainly less so and that's ultimately what drives a company. On the other hand, Microsoft needed Nokia's hardware expertise. Would Nokia have survived making Android? It's possible, but hard to tell. They certainly might have sold more phones, but it's impossible to really say not knowing exactly how much financial support Microsoft gave them. Would they have survived the transition to Android? Maybe, maybe not. In that sense, windows phone and Microsoft made sense at the time.
  • I know it's tough to swim against the current, but you're not helping yourself. The last article that covered this, I told you that being a WP fanboy or being a Nokia fanboy is equally irrational. But I have to agree with Tanglewood, because you do belittle people who's views differ from yours as WP fanboys, but you are yourself a Nokia fanboy are acting equally as irrational. I think overall commenting over and over again on every article that touches this point is unproductive. Everyone here is aware of your point of view on this situation, some disagree with you and react negatively, some disagree with you and react in a more moderate fashion and some agree with you. So what's the point of making the same argument over and over again when it will have no impact? If you so strongly believe that MS and Nokia broke laws (specifically which you haven't mentioned) by all means start a legal process or write to some EU ombundsman to review the decision. Otherwise, I think you're just saying the same thing again and again, accomplishing nothing at all, except antagonizing majority of people who read/comment here.
  • Yeaaaah! Christmas already! Thank you Santa! ;) Oh hello DJCBS, my condolences.
  • again !
  • You too, again!
  • I'm thrilled by this. I wonder how long before we see that Surface Phone prototype becomes available, lol.
  • +1
  • What! What! Are the trees attacking!
  • somebody call Mark Wahlberg!
  • "Microsoft is unlikely to restrict the supply of its Windows OSs for smart mobile devices to third party manufacturers after the transaction" Yeah. Thing is, other OEM's would need to be very stupid to keep with the OS with MS developing and producing smartphones. Just like they don't release stuff with Windows RT. Can't wait to see sales decline as soon as the "Nokia" brand gets out of the picture.
  • That's not true. OEMs stopped selling RT simply because it wasn't selling well. Microsoft sells the Surface Pro, but OEMs still make Windows 8 tablets. Also, I was surprised that you didn't mention Elop (or Eflop as you call him)
  • Windows Phone doesn't sell well outside of Nokia either. That's why they have 90% of the market.
    The Windows other OEM's sell, that is on the Surface Pro, is the normal Windows. The one with over 90% of the market. It would be stupid for them not to sell tablets with full Windows, specially when they're cheaper than the Surface Pro.
    Windows Phone on the other hand is monopolized by Nokia and soon by Microsoft itself. OEM's would be wasting money trying to sell phones against the developer of the OS. It would be financially disatrous for them, just as it would be if Apple were to allow other OEM's to sell phones with iOS. (I don't have to mention Eflop in every single post, I think. But if you wish me to, I'll be nice and do it for specially for you ;) )
  • You don't think manufacturers would jump all over iOS if it was allowed on their devices? Ridiculous.
  • I wish Apple would allow that. Just so that you would see what would happen and how wrong you are.
    I can assure you that none of the big OEMs would do it. They would be mad to try and compete against well established brands as Apple and "iPhone". You forget you are NOT the regular consumer. The consumer goes by brands he knows and by brands his/her friends know and trust.
  • I completely disagree.
    Imagine iOS on the Samsung S4, smoother OS (over janky Android) and advanced hardware (over the outdated iPhone specs).
    I think that would sell well.
  • It would sell well to you and me (well, not me as I don't like Samsung's hardware) and to everyone who actually knows and cares about phone specs.
    If they were to buy the phone, it would be because it was a "Samsung". Just like they buy iPhones because "It's an iPhone". And just like they buy Windows Phones because "it's a Nokia".
    Samsung could probably sell iOS devices, sure. Nokia could sell it. HTC could sell it. Sony could sell it. But that's because it would be the brand, not the OS, that would be selling it. The number it would sell was based on the brand of the phone. And it still wouldn't be "an iPhone". It would be a "Samsung". That, by coincidence, runned iOS.
    Also, there's the fundamental reason that separates Android from iOS/Windows Phone. Unlike Android, they wouldn't be able to change iOS just like they weren't able to change WP. They would still be bound to Apple's decisions, even if they saw that Apple's decisions were bad or slow or both. And with Apple producing their own phones, they would know that Apple would be optimizing the OS based on their own phones and not in those of other OEMs. And they wouldn't be able to do anything about it because they simply wouldn't know.
    They saw that happen with Nokia already. Microsoft's development of Windows Phone was always based upon Nokia's demands and nothing else, really. Microsoft acted with Nokia as if they were one company. Samsung and HTC would get the basic stuff, sure, but none of those would be designed because of their phones.
    Also, why would brands like Samsung care to fight against the designer and maker of an OS with overall 4% of the market when they're better off on other OSs?
    Against Nokia, HTC and Samsung could try to compete. Nokias decision to go with Windows Phone was never popular among Nokia users. And Nokia was losing people to Apple and Samsung because of that. Nokia's financially weaker. Microsoft, on the other hand, is a big, powerful and above all rich company. It's easier to compete against OEMs on the same or lower financial level. OEMs with bigger pockets that are, on top of that, the designers of the OS that runs on their phones...that's more complicated and way more expensive.
  • TLDR, but I bought a Nokia because it had WP OS.
  • DJCBS please stop it, just wait till Microsoft releases its first batch of WP-Devices and we´ll see if sales will decline... my thought: No they wont.
  • I got your point. Although it is true in fact that once the Nokia name disappears, there is going to be less attraction to WP devices. IMHO we shall only see a bump in the road that is at largest on quarter wide. In other words, if MS launches a phone that has no Nokia over it, and -worse even- not have the Lumia design, there will be a pause or a dip in the WP market. but it depends on the quality of the new device whether its better or not than the Lumia design and experience. Currently, its the best, if MS releases a cuboid shaped samrtphone with nothing like Lumia in it, I'm gonna have to pass that! But if MS is still alowing other manufacturers to get WP, there should be no reason why Nokia has to go. If MS does that, it will only make it the next Apple, market share no bigger than iPhones. Android would still be at large. I wish MS keeps the Nokia name, but release a surface phone completly away from the Lumia designs. I'm still unsure what MS will do about the Nokia branding though everyone seems so sure Nokia is going.
  • It has already been well established that the Nokia name will be on mobile phones only like Asha. There will be no Nokia Lumia after this deal is done.
  • I'm not saying it doesn't sell well, but that was beside the point. If RT did well, OEMs would be all over it, just like OEMs would be all over windows phone if it did well. Look at android. I don't think Google buying Motorola changed much (they bought it for the patents) since the Moto x and Moto g haven't sold well.
  • Clearly this butt knows more about how to run a business than Microsoft. I think he should be the next CEO. Yes.
  • Tool is an apt description
  • Microsoft stated a lot of the nokia stuff is being rolled into windows phone os. This would help manufacturers using windows phone. it would give them features and software that was normally nokia only.
  • But that doesn't prevent: 1 - Microsoft will be incharge of 90% of the phones on the market; 2 - Microsoft won't provide special stuff for their own version of WP; 3 - Other OEMs won't get everything later than Microsoft phones.
    There's absolutely no incentive for companies likes Samsung or HTC to keep bothering with Windows Phone.
  • Where was this stated?
  • OEMS would be stupid to release android phones and tablets as google does release a very successful phone and tablets then? because nobody is stopping buddy.
  • So then what's your opinion on Google owning Motorola? Samsung sells the most Android phones compared to any other Android manufacturer. The same could happen for any OEM who takes the initiative with Windows Phone. The OS developer owning a device manufacturer doesn't mean a thing unless there's synergy between the two entities. Currently, Samsung just knows how to sell better than Google/Motorola.
  • I'm just going to insult you and call it a day. Stupid idiot.
  • Most exciting news I've read all week! Can't wait to see the first phones that Microsoft would release! :D
  • +1
  • Everybody run to your local store and get a 1020. Knowing Microsoft, 1020 is the last of its kind.
  • ..and yet the Surface 2, Xbox One are two of the nicest gadgets I own.
  • You know nothing about Microsoft then. They introduced the world to freaking GUI to use computers. Else PCs would have been a think for nerds and geeks only.
  • Clearly you didn't understand what I was saying. Lumia 1020 is a niche market device, meaning it doesn't sell well. After losing $900mil on Surface, I doubt Microsoft will risk losing more money. 1020 was always a a niche device, how many how you actually seen in the wild? Microsoft would want to maximize revenue and minimize losses, especially when they don't actually need a 1020 successor.
  • Assumptive conjecture.
  • So is the Surface, Surface 2 followed, though, improved & all
  • We still don't know if Surface2 sells well. Its a great device, doesn't mean people buy it. Why do you think RT will be merged with WP? RT isn't selling, even OEMs don't want it. Given that Surface was always Microsoft's dream, that will stay. Lumia 1020 doesn't fit anywhere. Nokia is the only one making phones of such camera specs, that's because Nokia has always been daring and ballsy. It took Microsoft god knows how many years to give us rotation lock, do you really believe they will give us a 1020 successor? 920, definitely. 1520, definitely. 1020? It's a money losing device.
  • That's true. Also, Microsoft's new CEO will play a crucial part on that. If Mulally gets hold of the chair of CEO, those cuts on money loss project will certainly go forward and probably in an even deeper manner.
  • Yep, bring it on.  Can't wait to see Mulally come along and axe Bing, XBone, Windows RT, and perhaps even WP.  Then MS will make huge profits for a few quarters, Mulally can retire or die off, and as MS continues on its long slide towards irrelevance the profits will eventually dry up.  But hey, the world will still always need trucks, right?
  • Why would the CEO of Ford join Microsoft? And why would Microsoft kill off the Xbox brand when it's one of the most popular game consoles in the world?
  • This is a popular idea from "investors" who have very short sighted thinking. They think if MSFT sheds a division or two that isn't performing top notch that they can unlock some hidden value in the stock price and make lots of money. Maybe they would but those gains I am sure would be very short lived and then MSFT would be out some very useful tools for the fight against Apple, Google and Samsung for tech supremacy. It would be like during the cold war, America giving away all their nukes to Russia and saying please don't attack us. Bing and Xbox are intergral parts of a much larger strategy that many have a hard time comprehending and shedding them would be one of the largest corporate blunders of all time.
  • I have to agree. MSFT would never make a 1020. It's too innovative and too daring. MSFT would make essentially an iphone clone but thicker, heavier, and with a keyboard...oh wait.
  • Uhmmm but Nokia is going to be in charge of Windows Phone. They can do whatever the fuck they want 80% of the time...
  • Nokia is not in charge of anything anymore. It will be a separate company.
  • That's not what I meant to say. I meant that the employees of the mobile division will be in charge of Windows Phone.
  • Nobody is saying they will make bad phones. But mark my words, you will never see a 1020 successor. No more 40+ megapixels and definitely no more xenon flash.
  • This line of thinking is a fallacy. Elop and co are still going to be running the device and services branch but under the MSFT banner and with a whole lot more financial support. Those sensors are only going to get better. MSFT wants to win, not be Blackberry.
  • The almost 15 year saga between the two comes to an end.. amazing :)
  • Yupi!
  • Go Microsoft!
  • hurry up !...u hav a biig hurdle to clear...the 6000cr tax evasion case on nokia in india ! :D
  • That is not a big hurdle, just an inconvenience.  The issue is over a single factory in India.  If this is not cleared when the deal closes, Nokia will retain ownership and Microsoft will pay Nokia to continue to operate it until the matter is resolved.  Then the asset would be transferred over to Microsoft.  The deal will close in Q1 regardless.
  • M. S. F. T. MSFT, MS!
  • I delightfully wait for the Surface Phone and next Gen Surface as my next set of Window devices. The 2520 pretty much ended my affair with Android. RT is definitely a better alternative.
  • Finally, the game is on!
  • I am really confused about the second and third criteria used by the EU to okay the deal- if MSFT decided to withhold Office and Skype to only their own manufactured devices, how would that be at all unlike Apple with their built in suite of applications or all of the Google apps they refuse to create for WP? I guess what I'm saying is that even if MSFT decided to restrict their offered services, why would that be disallowed but it is okay for apple/google? If MSFT gave the ok for WP8 manufacturers to use office/skype on WP8 hardware only, I guess that would be okay by the EU (obviously not a great economic tactic though)?
  • Microsoft has always been held to different rules. I'd argue that what Google is doing to Microsoft is worse than anything Microsoft ever did...
  • Office and Skype are platforms that go beyond Windows Phone. They're in every Windows PC and laptop that the Commission uses. And since in the EUCommission most of them use Android and iOS tablets and smartphones, they wouldn't want to see support for Office or Skype removed from them thus cutting them the ability to work on non-MS tablets and phones, would they? ;)
  • man you're good. got it all figured out. This is why the EU sucks, they are using android and iOS and can't get anything done due to the lack of productivity apps there...makes ense.
  • +1
  • I must assume you work for the EU Commission in a relatively high level position if you know, for a fact, that Office and Skype "are in every Windows PC and laptop that the Commission uses."
  • Now its up to Newkia to innovate 
  • Everybody in his right mind would knew before this decision that European Commission could not oppose this deal. These two are different companies operating in different domains. One is established whereas other is struggling. There was no justification to stop this deal.
  • So when google bought Motorola did they (US, Europe and others) come to the three conclusions...?
  • Probably not since Motorola hq is in the United States and Nokia hq is in Finland 
  • no, because it was an American company buying another american company.....
  • While they are American companies they still operate in Europe and are subject to those laws as well. That's the blessing and curse of being a Multinational Corporation.
  • Microsoft is not likely to .... what the heck is that? Not likely!?
    What if they decide to not have products on competing products? Sounds so loose.
  • Soo, when is the purchase final now
  • Early 2014.
  • I said before with the EU that time would only tell. Time has also spoken. What is will be.
  • i am suprised this got approved so easily! I have been wondering what will happen to the nokia care points across the UK. I hope they keep them open and simply rebrand them
  • They'll probably be rebranded. I doubt Microsoft would want to ruin that level of customer service.
  • I would hope so! I've had to use the store in Glasgow once and the service was great, it could really give Microsoft the upper hand against brands like Samsung etc and help them compete with apple
  • Yay! Best purchase MS made in a long time. Personally I don't think they will drop the Nokia branding completely. They could pull a google move and and simply put out "Nokia" a Microsoft company. Or they may just drop Nokia name and leave Lumia attached. Which would be great for branding purposes. Just my thought.
  • I think there's a 99% chance that it's going to be rebranded to Lumia, since they actually bought that name too and Asha.
  • They didn't buy the company; just its devices and services division. Nokia still exists as a company and part of the deal is that Microsoft can use Nokia name with the Asha phones but not the Lumia phones.
  • Long live ... me!
  • I too was not happy about the acquisition, as a Nokia fan i was disappointed to see the end of Nokia handsets. I bought Windows Phone because it was Nokia, not because of WP. Also, i thought that all of the innovation was coming from Nokia with Amber and now black. Now, i just want the sale to progress quickly, amber and black features to go to all handsets. Microsoft need to spend big with advertising and development dollars to get local apps. Here apps need quicker development and the Nokia guys need to drive new OS features. If this happens I will be happy...
  • Microsoft should turn Lumia into a full brand. Push Lumia Watch, Lumia Surface and Lumia Phone. Apples has the iBrand so Microsoft needs something that is a brand. XBOx is a cool but XFone won't resonate nor would Surface Phone. Lumia works so stick with it.
  • They will be stupid not too. WP associates with Lumia, not the other way round.
  • No need to call it Microsoft Lumia, call it Lumia and stick the WP logo on the back, that logo needs to be known more. When u see iPhone you see that big apple. We need to see that window.
  • Hell no!  The 'Window' on the home button is sufficient enough.
  • That's your opinion
  • There's no better CEO than Elop. He was the first to throw the iPhobe across the floor in a live interview. MS needs that kind of boldness with a CEO.
  • But it seems not easy in India... I mean the MS can't take control on Nokia India in Q1of 2014 as we expect...
  • Can't wait for the details! Hopefully they start talking a little more now that the regulatory agencies and stockholders have given there blessing.
  • I agree however a symbiotic relationship is not one sided. WP gave Nokia a stable OS to truly showcase its hardware in a competitive market. Had Nokia went with Android it would have been difficult to stand out.
  • Congratulations Microsoft & Nokia!!! Excited to see the years ahead!!! :)