THE NEW YORK TIMES, BBC, REUTERS
SEATTLE — Microsoft has announced plans to purchase Nokia’s mobile phone business for $7.2 billion, a move by Microsoft to catch up to competitors Samsung and Apple on the mobile business. Nokia shares jumped by 45% on news of the deal.
According to the BBC, the purchase is set to be completed in early 2014 when about 32,000 Nokia employees will then transfer to Microsoft. Nokia, based in Finland, will also license its patents and mapping services to the American company.
The New York Times reported that former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop, who was running Nokia until the deal was signed, will rejoin Microsoft after the transaction closes. He is regarded as a potential successor for Microsoft CEO Steven A. Ballmer, who plans to retire from the company within a year.
In three years under Elop, Nokia saw its market share collapse and its share price shrivel as investors bet heavily that his strategy would fail, according to Reuters.
Microsoft CEO Steven A. Ballmer, set to retire within a year - Photo: Hayne Palmour IV - U-T San Diego/ZUMA