Microsoft are the new owners of Nokia. In a move which took many by surprise, Microsoft will now own the Finnish company’s devices and products division in a deal worth $5 billion. Another $2.2 billion will go towards acquiring licenses of all of Nokia’s patents so that the entire deal works out to $7.2 billion. All this, while everyone thought Nokia was working hard to regain its status of being among the top handset makers in the world with active collaboration with Microsoft. The above deal is also reminiscent of the search giant Google acquiring Motorola last year.
“We announced some exciting news today: We have entered into an agreement to purchase Nokia’s Devices & Services business, which includes their smartphone and mobile phone businesses, their award-winning design team, manufacturing and assembly facilities around the world, and teams devoted to operations, sales, marketing and support,” revealed Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in a letter to Nokia employees.
The above deal will also mark a return of Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who had left Microsoft to join Nokia as its chief executive. He will now be back at Microsoft as the executive vice president of the devices and services division. Elop, though, is also in the race to replace Steve Ballmer once the latter’s tenure comes to an end by next summer.
Microsoft termed the deal as a “smart acquisition,” which is quite relevant given the less than commanding position that Nokia is in right now, and even that is a shadow of what it was even a few years ago. The above deal also reinforces the Richmond-based company’s ambitions in the smartphone segment. The Windows Phone 8 platform has emerged as the third largest so far, beating BlackBerry 10 in the process, but is way beyond both iOS and Android, the segment leaders right now. WP8 market share has jumped to 8.2 in Europe, while its worldwide share of the smartphone market grew from 3.1 percent to 3.7 percent in Q2, 2013. (As per IDC).
“Today’s agreement will accelerate the momentum of Nokia’s devices and services, bringing the world’s most innovative smartphones to more people, while continuing to connect the next billion people with Nokia’s mobile phone portfolio,” revealed Ballmer and Elop in a joint statement.
The deal is still awaiting shareholder and regulatory approval and is expected to come to a conclusion by Q1, 2014.