Euronews: Nokia/Microsoft Deal Wins EC Approval

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Vodafone's Verizon stake sale gets the nod in US; Huawei in the UK; French government raps Iliad.

  • All systems are go: Hard on the heels of the news that Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s purchase of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s Devices and Services business had been given the green light in the US comes official word from Brussels that the European Commission is cool with it too. In a statement, the officials said: "The Commission found that the overlap of the two companies' activities in this area is minimal and several strong rivals, such as Samsung and Apple will continue to compete with the merged entity." The Commission adds, however, that any concerns that could arise from Nokia pursuing patent claims in the future "fall outside the scope of the EU Merger Regulation." (See Nokia: It's Really Happening.)

  • And on the subject of approvals, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US has waved through the proposed $130 billion sale of Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD)'s 45% stake in Verizon Wireless , reports the Daily Telegraph. Cue a nice little pre-Christmas special dividend for Vodafone shareholders! (See Vodafone Agrees to $130B Verizon Stake Sale.)

  • Security concerns surrounding Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. 's activities in the UK and elsewhere continue to bubble away nicely. According to a Reuters report, the British government has given the all-clear to Huawei's cyber-security center in Oxfordshire following a review, but British PM David Cameron, currently on a visit to China, has been forced to defend his government's decision to allow Huawei to build large chunks of the country's telecom infrastructure, reports The Guardian.

  • The French government, which owns 28.4% of Orange (NYSE: FTE), has stepped into the mobile market fray once more by criticizing Iliad (Euronext: ILD)'s decision to offer a 4G service for the same price as its 3G offerings. Reuters reports that Fleur Pellerin, France's junior minister for telecom and digital issues, said; "A low-cost strategy inevitably leads to under-investment in infrastructure, poorer service, and the destruction of jobs."

  • Sky 's TV Everywhere service, Sky Go, is to make its debut on Windows Phone following a partnership between Nokia Italia, BSkyB and Microsoft. The tie-up means that the pay-TV-on-the-go service will be available on Nokia Lumia models in Italy from the middle of December.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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