Nokia expects Microsoft to finally take control of its devices division on April 25th, the company announced today. The $7.2 billion deal — first announced in September of last year — will see Nokia sell "substantially all of its Devices and Services business to Microsoft." Nokia's latest update says that "certain customary closing conditions" are all that stands in the way of the acquisition being finalized. That suggests antitrust authorities in Asia have signed off on the deal after holding things up last month, forcing Microsoft and Nokia to push back their estimated closing date.
"This acquisition will help Microsoft accelerate innovation and market adoption for Windows Phones," Microsoft said in a statement. Several changes have been made since the acquisition was first proposed, however. Microsoft has agreed to oversee and manage Nokia.com and all of the company's social media sites for at least one year. A Korean manufacturing facility that was included in the original deal will no longer be acquired by Microsoft. The big buy was announced while Steve Ballmer was still Microsoft's chief executive.
In just a few days, Microsoft — now under the guidance of new CEO Satya Nadella — will begin its quest to build its own flagship smartphones, rather than rely on Nokia's design chops to push the Windows Phone platform forward. Nokia has done a commendable job with its Lumia line of devices, but Microsoft still needs to produce something better if it hopes to legitimately compete with Android and iOS, or at the very least secure a comfortable third place position. Windows Phone 8.1 has seen a number of major improvements; now it's time for Microsoft to create a device capable of showcasing all the progress it's made. For the full timeline on Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's devices division, check out our StoryStream.