The European Commission announced today that it has approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s mobile device business.
The Commission said, “The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise any competition concerns, in particular because there are only modest overlaps between the parties’ activities and the links between Microsoft’s mobile operating systems, mobile applications and enterprise mail server software with Nokia’s smart mobile devices are unlikely to lead to competitors being shut out from the market.”
“In 2012, almost 700 million smartphones and 162 million tablets were sold worldwide,” it added. “The Commission assessed the effects of the acquisition on competition in the field of smart mobile devices (including smartphones and tablets). The Commission found that the overlap of the two companies’ activities in this area is minimal and several strong rivals, such as Samsung and Apple will continue to compete with the merged entity.”
Probably not many arguments there.
Some think Microsoft’s Windows Phone could find growth in the enterprise.
“There was a lot of excitement with the release of iOS 7, especially in the enterprise where Apple included features enterprises were longing for,” Jason McNicol, senior analyst at ABI, recently said. “Some of those features, however, were not terribly innovative when compared to the services offered by the EMM/MDM market, while other enhancements have relatively limited functionality. Despite the positive market buzz, iOS7 enterprise features are unlikely to increase its enterprise presence. Plenty of market opportunity remains, especially for a company like Microsoft.”
The commission investigated several vertical relationships between Microsoft/Nokia and the downstream market for mobile devices, as well as Microsoft’s upstream activities in mobile operating systems, apps and enterprise mail server software. It found that the company is unlikely to restrict supply of its operating systems or apps, and wouldn’t have the ability to restrict interoperability of competing smart phones with Exchange Server because of contractual terms of current licenses.
You can read the Commission’s full announcement here.
Image: European Commission