Microsoft Corp will buy Nokia’s phone business and license its patents for 5.44 billion euros. The US software giant will acquire the finnish mobile manufacturer’s range of mobile phones and smart devices, including the Asha series and the Lumia line of smartphones. Nokia will grant Microsoft a 10-year licence to its portfolio of patents. In return, it will get to use Microsoft’s patents for its ‘HERE services, the Finnish company’s location and mapping tools.
Microsoft will also own Nokia’s licensing agreements, including a long-term patent licence agreement with Qualcomm, a US firm that produces semiconductors. A new data centre will be built in Finland, Nokia’s home base, to serve Microsoft customers in Europe.
Nokia says that once the sale is completed, it will concentrate on three key businesses – network equipment manufacturing, mapping and location services, and the development and licensing of technology. Around 32,000 Nokia employees will transfer to Microsoft, including 4,700 people in Finland and 18,300 people involved in production. The $7.6 billion Cdn deal is fuelling speculation that Nokia’s CEO, former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop, a Canadian, could emerge as a top candidate to succeed Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.