Finally: Nokia-Microsoft Deal to Close on Friday

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Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) has announced that the long-awaited sale of its smartphone division to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will finally be completed on Friday, April 25. The acquisition was originally supposed to close sometime in the first-quarter of 2014, but regulatory issues have prevented the companies from completing the $7.2 billion deal on schedule. “The transaction is now subject only to certain customary closing conditions,” the company said in a press release.

Microsoft announced that it was purchasing Nokia’s smartphone unit back in September, shortly after then-CEO Steve Ballmer announced his retirement. One of the things Ballmer has said he regrets most about his time at Microsoft was essentially missing out on the smartphone and watching the company be eclipsed in that arena by competitors Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF.PK). Nokia is the biggest maker of smartphones running on the Windows Phone operating system, so owning that branch of the company will give Microsoft total control over its smartphone efforts.

Now, new CEO Satya Nadella will be faced with the challenge of guiding the unit to profitability. Nokia once was successful in the cell phone market, but it too has been beaten out by industry dominators Apple and Samsung. Some are cynical that Microsoft’s Windows platform stands a change against the two companies that soak up over 100 percent of the profits made by the increasingly saturated smartphone industry. In its last set of earnings, Nokia’s Devices and Services unit posted a loss of $34 million.

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