Microsoft to acquire Nokia's smartphones and mobile phones business

Microsoft said it will pay Euro 5.44 billion to purchase substantially all of Nokia's Devices & Services business and license patents

Microsoft is to acquire Nokia's Devices & Services business, which includes the smartphone and mobile phones businesses, for Euro 3.79 billion (US$5 billion), Microsoft said Monday.

The Redmond, Washington, software company will also pay Euro 1.65 billion to license Nokia's patents, for a total transaction cost of Euro 5.44 billion in cash.

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Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will be coming back to Microsoft and lead an expanded devices team, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in an email to employees.

"Building on the partnership with Nokia announced in February 2011 and the increasing success of Nokia's Lumia smartphones, Microsoft aims to accelerate the growth of its share and profit in mobile devices through faster innovation, increased synergies, and unified branding and marketing," Microsoft said in a statement.

Nokia has been building smartphones around Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system in a bid to boost flagging market share, besides focusing on feature phones for emerging markets.

Microsoft will acquire Nokia's design team, manufacturing and assembly facilities around the words, and operations, sales, marketing and support teams, Ballmer wrote in his email to employees. Ballmer announced recently that he was retiring at some point in the next 12 months from the post of CEO of Microsoft.

More to follow........

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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