Three months ago, the news was broken that Microsoft was slated to buyout Finnish cell phone manufacturer Nokia for a cool 7.3 billion dollars. However, one cannot simply make a deal that big without jumping through some hurdles. Today, the final hurdle was cleared.
First thing needed approval from Nokia’s shareholders, which came a couple of weeks ago. Next was the decision from the U.S. Department of Justice, who cleared the transaction over last weekend. The last obstacle on the docket was approval from a commission of anti-trust regulators from the European Union, and word has just come down the line from Reuters that the EU commission has approved the deal, which has been slated by Microsoft to hopefully take effect by early 2014.
In this deal Microsoft gains control of the entire manufacturing arm of Nokia and licensing rights to their mapping and patents. Worth noting is that Nokia was already the largest manufacturer of Microsoft’s Windows Phone, so an increased partnership between the two is not precisely a shocking event, but a buyout of this scale was unexpected. Also rumored is that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will be taking over for former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who announced his impending retirement earlier this year.
What does this mean for gamers? Well, with Microsoft’s increased push for the Windows Phone, SmartGlass, and mobile gaming, the gaining of Nokia’s impressive manufacturing capabilities along with their technology means there could be a whole new realm of smarter, faster mobile devices for us to game on and with. And that is a good thing no matter how you slice it.