Software gaint Microsoft will acquire Nokia’s devices and services unit and license the company’s mapping services in a deal worth $7.2 billion.
The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014. Microsoft and Nokia announced a strategic partnership in 2011 to develop and market smart phones. 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. The transition comes at an interesting time with Ballmer retiring within the next 12 months and the search for a new CEO is currently underway.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Elop said in joint blog post that “Today marks a moment of reinvention, With the commitment and resources of Microsoft to take Nokia’s devices and services forward, we can now realize the full potential of the Windows ecosystem, providing the most compelling experiences for people at home, at work and everywhere in between.”