Microsoft has agreed a deal to buy Nokia's mobile phonebusiness for 5.4bn euros ($7.2bn; £4.6bn).Microsoft Corp. struck a $7 billion deal to acquire Nokia Corp.'s core cellphone business, a bold move to try to catch up in a fast-growing mobile business that is now dominated by Samsung and Apple.
Nokia will also license its patents and mapping services to Microsoft. Nokia shares jumped 35% on the news, whereas Microsoft's fell more than 5%. The purchase is set to be completed in early 2014, when about 32,000 Nokia employees will transfer to Microsoft. Nokia has fallen behind rivals Samsung and Apple, while critics say Microsoft has been slow into the mobile market. Describing the deal as a "big, bold step forward", Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer told the BBC 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".
"We've done a lot of great work in the two-and-a-half years that we've been in partnership with Nokia, going literally from no phones to 7.4 million smart Windows phones in the last quarter that was reported," he said. But he admitted: "We have more work to do to expand the range of applications on our product."