REDMOND, WASH. (CBSNews.com) - Microsoft says it is buying Nokia's devices and services business, and getting access to the company's patents, for $7.2 billion, in an effort to expand its share of the smart phone market.
Nokia confirmed the deal in a joint news release from the two companies Monday night.
In the statement, Microsoft's outgoing CEO, Steve Ballmer, says the deal will bring Nokia's capability and talent in hardware design, engineering, manufacturing, sales, marketing and distribution to Microsoft.
The Financial Times says the move will "the telecoms industry on two continents." It is, says the newspaper, "a big bet" by Ballmer "that the Finnish group's mobile devices can rival those of Apple and Samsung Electronics."
The companies say that, when the deal closes in early 2014, about 32,000 Nokia Corp. employees will transfer to Microsoft Corp.
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