Microsoft to win EU okay for $7.3 billion Nokia deal - sources

BRUSSELS Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:56pm IST

A Windows Nokia Phone is seen on display at Microsoft's annual shareholder meeting in Bellevue, Washington November 19, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Redmond

A Windows Nokia Phone is seen on display at Microsoft's annual shareholder meeting in Bellevue, Washington November 19, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Redmond

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Microsoft (MSFT.O) is set to secure unconditional EU regulatory approval for its proposed 5.4-billion-euro takeover of Nokia's (NOK1V.HE) mobile phone business, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The deal, announced in September and which includes a 10-year licensing agreement of Nokia's patent portfolio, underscores Microsoft's push into the competitive consumer devices market.

It faces fierce competition from market leader Samsung Electronics and Apple (AAPL.O).

"The (European) Commission is expected to clear the deal without conditions," one of the people said.

The EU competition watchdog has set a December 4 deadline for its decision. Commission spokesman for competition policy, Antoine Colombani, declined to comment. Microsoft also declined to comment. Nokia did not immediately reply to an email for comments.

Regulators in Russia, India, Turkey and Israel have already given the green light to the deal. Nokia shareholders earlier this week also gave a thumbs-up to the sale of what was once Finland's biggest brand and worth 4 percent of the national GDP.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee)

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