Microsoft's deal to buy Nokia for €5.44bn has been delayed and will now close in April, as the firms continue to wait for regulatory approval in certain key markets.
Microsoft general counsel, Brad Smith, revealed the delay in a blog post. "We are nearing the final stages of our global regulatory approval process – to date we have received approvals from regulatory authorities in 15 markets on five continents.
"Currently, we are awaiting approval confirmation in the final markets. This work has been progressing, and we expect to close next month, in April 2014," he said.
Nokia downplayed the significance of the delay, noting that the deal has already been authorised by key regulatory bodies including the European Commission and the US Department of Justice. It added that it expects the remaining regulators to approve the deal in the very near future.
"Nokia and Microsoft continue to be confident that the transaction will close, resulting in the sale of substantially all of Nokia's Devices and Services business to Microsoft, and both companies are working diligently to close the transaction as expeditiously as possible," read the statement.
Microsoft announced plans to purchase Nokia's mobile phone unit for €3.79bn in September 2013. Once closed the deal will see Microsoft pay a further €1.65bn to license Nokia's patents for 10 years.
Smith said the deal is a key step in Microsoft's mobile and cloud computing growth strategy. "Our acquisition will accelerate our mobile-first, cloud-first imperatives. We're looking forward to accelerating innovation and market adoption for Windows Phones and introducing the next billion customers to Microsoft services via Nokia mobile phones," he said.
Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop mirrored Smith's sentiment, promising that Nokia devices will radically increase usage of Microsoft services once the deal closes, during a keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.
Comcast's £29.7bn winning bid more than twice the £13.7bn Rupert Murdoch valued Sky at just eight years ago
A nuclear strike has been considered, but Bruce Willis is nowhere in sight
Spray-on antenna could enable seamless integration of antennas with everyday objects
Parker Solar Probe, TESS and GOLD missions will deliver exciting data, claims NASA