Microsoft acquires Nokia handset business for €5.4bn

In a quite interesting business turnaround, Microsoft has agreed a deal to buy Nokia’s mobile phone business for €5.4bn($7.2bn; £4.6bn). Included in the deal, Nokia has also pledged to license its patents and mapping services to Microsoft.

After the news broke out, Nokia shares jumped 35% , whereas Microsoft’s fell more than 5%.

As per the agreement, 32,000 Nokia employees will be transferred to Microsoft when the purchase will be completed , in early 2014.

Defining the deal as a “big, bold step forward”, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer told  that his company was in the process of transforming itself from one that “was known for software and PCs, to a company that focuses on devices and services”.

He also admitted: “We have more work to do to expand the range of applications on our product.”

The acquisition of Nokia’s phone business marks the departure of a 150-year-old enterprise that once reigned over the worldwide mobile phone market and remains one of Europe’s premier technology brands.

“For a lot of us Finns, including myself, Nokia phones are part of what we grew up with. Many first reactions to the deal will be emotional,” said Alexander Stubb, Finland’s minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade, on his Twitter account.

Nokia chief Steven Elop, a former Microsoft executive, will return in Microsoft’s board. HE is considered as a successor to current CEO Steve Ballmer, who will depart sometime in the next 12 months. nokia1File photo of Microsoft Corp CEO Steve Ballmer displays a Nokia Lumia 920 featuring Windows Phone 8, during an event in San Francisco, California. (Reuters)

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