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MOBILE NEWS: Microsoft buys Nokia mobile for £4.6bn

Microsoft has agreed a deal to acquire Nokia's devices and services business plus license its patents and mapping services for £4.6 billion.

The transaction is subject to approval by Nokia shareholders and regulators. However, Nokia shares have already jumped 45 per cent on news of the deal.

The purchase is set to be completed by early 2014, when an estimated 32,000 Nokia employees will transfer to Microsoft.

Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft, said: “It’s a bold step into the future – a win-win for employees, shareholders and consumers of both companies. 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.

”In addition to their innovation and strength in phones at all price points, Nokia brings proven capability and talent in critical areas such as hardware design and engineering, supply chain and manufacturing management, and hardware sales, marketing and distribution.” 

In 2011, Microsoft partnered with Nokia to bring Windows Phone Software to Nokia phones. Now Microsoft has agreed a 10-year licensing arrangement with Nokia to use the Nokia brand on current mobile phone products.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has said the deal will result in an immediate changes to Nokia’s leadership team. In a  press release the company noted: ‘Nokia expects that Stephen Elop, Jo Harlow, Juha Putkiranta, Timo Toikkanen, and Chris Weber would transfer to Microsoft at the anticipated closing of the transaction.’