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Microsoft buys Nokia mobile business for $7.8bn

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lumia6201Software giant Microsoft has decided to buy out the Nokia mobile business – once the world’s leading phone maker – for a reported $7.8 billion.

Microsoft and Nokia were already partners in the smartphone market with Nokia agreeing to run Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating software on its devices.

Now Microsoft has decided to acquire the mobile and services arms of the Nokia business and, along with it, more 32,000 staff from the Finnish company will now be working for Microsoft.

“It’s a bold step into the future – a win-win for employees, shareholders and consumers of both companies,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement.

“Bringing these great teams together will accelerate Microsoft’s share and profits in phones, and strengthen the overall opportunities for both Microsoft and our partners across our entire family of devices and services.”

Nokia, once the runaway leader on the mobile market, has been in decline since Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007.

It has also been overtaken by other companies like Samsung – now the world’s number one smartphone manufacturer.

The Nokia Lumia 925

The move by Microsoft to buy the Nokia mobile business is seen as a move to consolidate the company as both a software and devices company.

Microsoft’s decision would also suggest a desire to compete with other companies like Apple that create both the hardware and software for their mobile devices.

Google has also set itself up with a hardware manufacturer to accompany its Android software business after acquiring Motorola two years ago for $12 billion.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, formerly a Microsoft executive, is now tipped to return to the software company and has also been mentioned as a successor for current Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer when he steps down in 12 months.

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