The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have given the go-ahead to Microsoft's acuisition of Nokia for $7.2 billion.
On November 19, the Finnish phone maker confirmed that more than 99 percent of its shareholders voted, in its Extraordinary General Meeting in Helsinki, in favor of the sale, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.
"We look forward to the date when our partners at Nokia will become members of the Microsoft family, and are pleased that the Department of Justice has cleared the deal unconditionally," said a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement.
Around a decade ago, Nokia was one of the top mobile phone providers globally. However, the company was unable to adapt to the changing market trend and was not quick enough to innovate. As such, other companies like Apple, Samsung and HTC overtook the company in the smartphone race.
There is no doubt that Nokia has been struggling in the smartphone space for quite some time. However, with the release of the Windows Phone 8 (WP8) operating system, the company may get back some part of its lost market share. A recent IDC report suggests that in Q3 2013, WP8 handsets controlled 3.6 percent of the global market share. Nokia has the biggest range of WP8-powered handsets and has 93.2 percent of the overall market share of Microsoft's latest mobile operating system.
Nokia has been very aggressive with the launch of WP8 handsets and has already launched many entry-level to top-end smartphones in 2013.
After Microsoft launched its first range of tablets, Surface Pro and Surface RT, many rumors surfaced that the company may also launch its own smartphones. The acquisition of Nokia will now make the rumors a reality.