Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia devices and services business took a big step towards completion after the Ministry of Commerce in China formally approved the $7.2 billion deal.

The two companies have been waiting on approval from various governments in Asia, and recently announced that deal is expected to close this month, having missed the initial deadline of Q1 2014.

“Nokia and Microsoft have now received regulatory approvals from the People’s Republic of China, the European Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice and numerous other jurisdictions,” the companies explained in a statement, which suggests that they are now only waiting on final approval from India.

Nokia last month denied that an ongoing tax investigation in India is holding things up, but there’s certainly evidence to the contrary. The company is protesting against an “absurd” tax bill from Indian state Tamil Nadu, which claims the phone-maker owes $414 million in unpaid duties.

➤ Planned sale of substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business to Microsoft has received regulatory approval from China [Nokia]

➤ Chinese Ministry of Commerce approves Microsoft-Nokia deal [Microsoft]

Image via Nokia_fan / Flickr