Microsoft’s plans to scoop up Nokia’s device business for $7.2 billion were quickly approved by government organizations in both the U.S. and Europe, but the merger still faces some opposition in Asia. Today the two companies inched even closer to finalizing the deal after gaining approval from China’s Ministry of Commerce.
China previously pushed back against the deal, responding to concerns from local smartphone-makers that Microsoft was likely to increase its patent fees on Android phones sold in the country if the merger went through. It’s unclear what convinced the government to approve the deal, but with Chinese approval the last obstacle is India’s supreme court, which recently rejected a plan to transfer ownership of a massive factory in the country from Nokia over to Microsoft.
In a statement on Tuesday, Nokia reiterated its promise that the deal should be finalized before the end of April. With only one major holdout remaining it looks like Microsoft’s plan to buy its own smartphone manufacturer is moving along nicely, though it’s unclear how the two companies will resolve their issue with India’s government.