Microsoft has pushed back the date that it will sign on the dotted line to seal the purchase of Nokia's smartphone business, with the deal now set to go through in April.
As you may recall, Microsoft first announced that it would be snaffling Nokia's mobile devices and services business back in September of last year – with the deal pencilled to go through before the first quarter of 2014 was out.
Of course, the first quarter is about to end, and Redmond has apparently hit stumbling blocks concerning regulatory approval – hence the delay to April.
Brad Smith, General Counsel & Executive VP of Legal & Corporate Affairs, took to the official Microsoft Blog yesterday (yes, on a Sunday), to declare: "We are nearing the final stages of our global regulatory approval process – 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. This work has been progressing, and we expect to close next month, in April 2014."
As we know, EU and US approval have both already been acquired, and according to PC World, the sticking point is approval in Asia. A Nokia spokeswoman wouldn't say exactly which territories are the problem, but apparently sources in the know reckon China has yet to give its stamp of approval.
Meanwhile, this is doubtless frustrating for Microsoft, as Redmond must be keen to get its feet under Nokia's mobile desk, so to speak, and begin formulating the next stage of its strategy to try and claw its way further into the smartphone market. Time is one thing that Microsoft doesn't have when it comes to mobile...