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    Talking Microsoft to Buy Nokia Mobile Business in $7 Billion Deal

    Microsoft is acquiring nearly all of Nokia's mobile business in a $7.18 billion deal. The WSJ's Juro Osawa tells Ramy Inocencio what the purchase means for the tech world.


    Microsoft Corp. MSFT -0.45% struck a $7 billion deal to acquire Nokia Corp.'s NOK1V.HE +40.08% struggling cellphone business, a bold move to try to catch up in a fast-growing mobile market that is now dominated by Samsung Electronics Co. 005930.SE -1.04% and Apple Inc. AAPL -0.91%
    The deal comes on the heels of Microsoft's announcement that Chief Executive Steve Ballmer will retire as soon as a successor is found. As part of the deal for Nokia's devices-and-services business, Microsoft will bring aboard 32,000 Nokia employees including CEO Stephen Elop, who is believed to be among the contenders for Mr. Ballmer's job.

    Timeline: Microsoft Under Ballmer





    The companies said late Monday that Microsoft will pay €3.79 billion to buy "substantially all" of the Nokia business, which includes its smartphone operations. The Redmond, Wash., company will also pay €1.65 billion to license Nokia's patents, the companies said, bringing the deal to €5.44 billion, or $7.18 billion.

    Nokia was already Microsoft's closest partner in smartphones, with the ailing Finnish company one of the biggest supporters of Microsoft's phone software.

    The deal with Nokia is an apparent acknowledgment that Microsoft needs a stronger hand to play in the mobile-phone business, where it is playing catch-up to Apple and Google Inc. Microsoft's lagging position in mobile is one of the most serious threats Mr. Ballmer's successor will need to tackle.

    For Nokia, the onetime leader of the mobile-phone business, the deal is a capitulation to the harsh realities of its deteriorating position—a sign that management concluded it is unable to take on rivals like Apple and Samsung on its own.
    Mr. Elop has been hacking costs out of Nokia in the three years since the Finnish company agreed to tether itself exclusively to Microsoft's Windows Phone smartphone system. But while Mr. Elop has promised that Nokia's operating expenditures for its phone business will be cut to half the 2010 levels by the end of this year, analysts say Nokia's phone sales have fallen even faster.

    Nokia said the deal with Microsoft will improve its financial position and "provide a solid basis for future investment in its continuing businesses."
    Last edited by Mohamed Fouad; 03-09-2013 at 10:54 AM.


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