Microsoft to acquire Nokia’s device and services division

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Microsoft will acquire Nokia’s devices and services unit and license the company’s mapping services in a deal worth $7.2 billion in a bid to bolster the company’s position in the smartphone market.

The software giant will pay $5 billion for “substantially all” of Nokia’s phone unit and another $2.2 billion to license its patents, the companies announced late Sunday. As part of the deal, Stephen Elop will step down as Nokia chief executive to become the executive vice president of the devices and services division. Elop, a former Microsoft executive, is one of a handful of candidates suggested to replace Microsoft Steve Ballmer, who is expected to retire by next summer.

“Today’s agreement will accelerate the momentum of Nokia’s devices and services, bringing the world’s most innovative smartphones to more people, while continuing to connect the next billion people with Nokia’s mobile phone portfolio,” Ballmer and Elop said in a joint statement.

Elop, the former president of the Microsoft Business Division, left the software giant three years ago this week to head up Nokia. He joined Microsoft in January 2008 after serving as COO of Juniper Networks and as an executive at Adobe Systems Adapted from news.cnet.com

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