The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of most of Nokia's devices & services business by Microsoft.
The D&S business mainly produces and sells smartphones and feature phones. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise any competition concerns, in particular because there are only modest overlaps between the parties' activities and the links between Microsoft's mobile operating systems, mobile applications and enterprise mail server software with Nokia's smart mobile devices are unlikely to lead to competitors being shut out from the market.
The links that do exist between existing Microsoft activities and Nokia's smartphone devices "are unlikely to lead to competitors being shut out from the market," it said.
In smartphones and tablets, the two companies face "several strong rivals, such as Samsung and Apple (who) will continue to compete with the merged entity," it said.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Justice gave its approval to the pending Microsoft-Nokia acquisition.
Microsoft officials have said they expect the $7.2 billion transaction to be completed around the first quarter of 2014.