Nokia Investors Give Devices Unit Sale to Microsoft the Go-Ahead

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Nokia investors have approved the sale of its mobile-devices unit to Microsoft. The $7.4 billion deal is expected to help the Finland-based company focus more on its networks business and leave its legacy of phone manufacturing in the past. 

More than 99 percent of Nokia’s shareholders approved the deal at a meeting in Helsinki.

“Continuing our existing strategy would have resulted in great difficulties,” said chairman Risto Siilasmaa, according to Bloomberg. ”We have no doubt that this is the right decision.”

Nokia has struggled to keep up with Apple and a bevy of Android manufacturers in the smartphone race, which it was slow to embrace. The company has just a 3 percent smartphone market share; it once had more than half of the mobile-phone market overall.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system which powers Nokia’s line of Lumia devices has started to gain some traction, but it’s still a distant speck in Apple’s and Google’s (Android) rear-view mirrors.

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