Finnish technology group Nokia has agreed to sell its handset business to US software giant Microsoft for EUR5.44 billion (USD7.17 billion) including EUR3.79 billion for the Nokia Devices & Services division and EUR1.65 billion to license Nokia’s patents. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, was expected following the partnership struck between Microsoft and Nokia to build smartphones based on the Windows operating system in February 2011. The acquisition is reportedly Microsoft’s second largest to date behind its USD9.3 billion buyout of Skype in May 2011, while it comes hot on the heels of Nokia buying 100% of its networks division Nokia Solutions & Networks (NSN, formerly Nokia Siemens Networks) after acquiring former joint venture partner Siemens’ 50% stake.
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