Microsoft makes changes to Nokia acquisition deal

Microsoft sign outside glass building

Microsoft has outlined several changes to the original terms of its deal to acquire Nokia's devices and services business, as the completion date for the buyout nears.

The software giant announced plans to acquire the Finnish firm's mobile phone business for around 4.6 billion last September, much to the delight of industry watchers.

The deal was initially expected to close by the end of last month, but delays in getting the acquisition signed off by Chinese regulators has resulted in that date being pushed back to Friday 25 April.

In a blog post, confirming the deal's imminent closure, Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs at Microsoft, revealed several amendments to the acquisition's original terms had been made.

For example, the original deal stated that Microsoft would acquire Nokia's North Korean manufacturing facility when the acquisition goes through, but this has since been revoked.

The deal terms also initially reported that all staff working in Nokia's Chief Technology Office would not join Microsoft.

"We've adjusted this agreement so the 21 employees in China working on mobile phones will join Microsoft and continue their work," Smith wrote.

Furthermore, the original acquisition agreement made no reference to what would become of Nokia's online assets, once the deal goes through.

"Our two companies have agreed that Microsoft will manage the domain and social media sites for the benefit of both companies and our customers for up to a year."

Meanwhile, according to a supposedly leaked internal memo from Nokia to its suppliers, the deal could see its brand name replaced with the Microsoft Mobile moniker.

The document states: "Upon the close of the transaction between Microsoft and Nokia, the name of Nokia Corporation/Nokia Oyj will change to Microsoft Mobile Oy.

"Microsoft Mobile Oy is the legal entity name that should be used for VAT Ids and for the issuance of invoices."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.