Nokia shareholders give Ballmer the keys -

Nokia shareholders voted to give Microsoft's Steve "there's a kind of hush" Ballmer the keys to the executive drinks cabinet.

The former rubber boot maker had agreed to sell its phone business to Microsoft pending shareholder approval. Although many expected shareholders to be bought off, there was some anger that the Finnish flagship company should be sold off to the Yankees. Nokia's chairman, Risto Siilasmaa, said he was aware the sale "would raise deep feelings" among Finns.

Yesterday's extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to vote on whether or not to accept the terms of the company's proposed sale of its devices and services business to Microsoft turned out to be a bit of a yawn.

The deal, which was first announced in September, is worth $7.35bn USD and also includes provisions for Microsoft to license patents from the Finnish company.

Nic Fildes, Technology and Communications Editor at The Times, tweeted hthat 78 percent of those eligible to vote had already voted before the EGM. Of those early votes, a staggering 99 percent had voted in favour of the sale to Vole.

Amusingly a phrase which did not really cross the translation barrier managed to raise a titter on twitter. Siilasmaa described his old CEO Stephen Elop's expertise in mobile. "He knows this business like he knows his own pockets".

The deal is still subject to international regulatory approval, but is expected to be completed early next year.