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Microsoft

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Microsoft said late Sunday that its $7.2 billion deal to acquire Nokia’s phone business is expected to close next month, rather than by the end of the first quarter as originally anticipated.

The deal will put Microsoft deeper into the hardware business, bringing in-house what has been the largest maker of Windows Phone-based smartphones. Nokia also has a lower-end feature phone unit that includes its Asha phone line as well as the recently introduced Android-based Nokia X family.

“We are nearing the final stages of our global regulatory approval process,” Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith said in a blog post. “To date we have received approvals from regulatory authorities in 15 markets on five continents. Currently we are awaiting approval confirmation in the final markets.”

Microsoft said last month that it still expected the deal to close in the first quarter of 2014, even despite a tax dispute Nokia has been having in India.

With the sale of the handset unit, Nokia will have three main remaining businesses — a division that sells network infrastructure, its Here location and mapping unit and an intellectual property licensing division.

The sale was announced last September. The European Union and U.S. Department of Justice approved the purchase in December. Nokia said some regulators in Asia have yet to approve the deal.




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