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Microsoft-Nokia deal is delayed

Microsoft plans to be a more aggressive direct competitor against Apple and Samsung, the smartphone leaders.

Reuters/File 2013

Microsoft plans to be a more aggressive direct competitor against Apple and Samsung, the smartphone leaders.

LONDON — Microsoft Corp.’s push into the cellphone business will have to wait a bit longer. The American technology giant said Monday that its $7.5 billion takeover of Nokia’s handset business is now expected to close in April.

The deal, which will allow Microsoft to compete directly with Apple and Samsung, had been expected to be completed by the end of March.

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“We are nearing the final stages of our global regulatory approval process,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, wrote in a blog post. “We are awaiting approval confirmation in the final markets.”

The deal has already received antitrust approval from US and European regulators.

Microsoft will own and make software and hardware components of the handsets that use its Windows Phone operating system. The software currently represents less than 4 percent of total global smartphone sales, compared with a market share of more than 80 percent for Google’s Android operating system.

For Nokia, a Finnish company, the divestment of its handset business is the first time in around 30 years that it will not produce cellphones.

Nokia is reviewing its remaining businesses, which include a mobile networking unit, a mapping division, and a large portfolio of intellectual property.

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