Microsoft Corp (MSFT)-Nokia Deal Approved By Chinese Authorities

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) – Nokia Corporation (ADR)(NYSE:NOK) deal makes a big leap towards conclusion after the Ministry of Commerce in China gave its approval to the $7.2 billion deal. The deal announced last year, has been waiting for clearance from various governments in Asia. Both the companies, recently, announced that they now expect the deal to conclude this month. Earlier, the deadline was for the first quarter of 2014.

Microsoft had to make many commitments

The Microsoft-Nokia deal has been cleared in almost 16 markets, and majority of the approval have come without any conditions. However, to get a nod from China’s Ministry of Commerce, or Mofcom, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) did have to commit to many patent licensing practices. The commitments will last for eight years, and require Microsoft to make available its standard-essential patents for licensing on so-called fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms.

According to a statement from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), the Chinese authorities gave their approval after concluding an investigation that the software giant holds around 200 patent families, which are essential for making an Android smartphone.

Final approval from India awaited

In a statement, the companies said, “Nokia and Microsoft have now received regulatory approvals from the People’s Republic of China, the European Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice and numerous other jurisdictions.” This indicates that they are only awaiting final approval from India.

Last month, the Finnish firm denied allegations that the ongoing investigation in India is delaying the deal. Nokia claims that the tax bill from Indian state Tamil Nadu is “absurd.” The tax bill accuses Nokia Corporation (ADR)(NYSE:NOK) of $414 million in unpaid duties. It seems that the troubles for Finnish firm are getting worse in India. Apart from the tax woes, now the IT department has ordered for a special audit of the Nokia’s local subsidiary for assessment year 2010-11.

The IT department suspects “considerable suppression” of income by the firm, and the audit is expected to be a comprehensive one. The audit will, also, examine the transactions between Nokia India and Nokia Corporation (ADR)(NYSE:NOK) Finland. Sources claim that the special audit has been requested due to “several defects, anomalies, discrepancies and irregularities,” in the accounts of Nokia India.