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Rumour - Nokia in Talks to Sell Mobile Phone Division to Microsoft

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At the end of a typically bombastic blog post, famed Nokia watcher, Eldar Murtazin has suggested that the company is in talks with Microsoft to sell its handset division.

A short snippet at the end of the post suggested that Nokia will start negotiations about the sale of it's phone unit to Microsoft next week and a possible deal could be announced shortly with financial agreements signed by the end of 2011. Both companies are said to be in a big hurry.

Talk of a sale to Microsoft has been rampant ever since the company tapped former Microsoft exec, Stephen Elop to head the company, and its subsequent decision to switch from its in-house Symbian platform towards the Windows Phone OS for its smartphones.

Any such sale would almost certainly result in the effective closure of the company though as it would be left with just the stake in Nokia Siemens Networks, the mapping company Navteq and its vast patent pool. A Nortel style break-up sale of the remaining assets would be almost certainly assured.

The political implications of Finland's flagship company being dismembered in this way cannot be underestimated and Microsoft would have to pay a massive premium to avert a shareholder revolt over the deal, which in turn could provoke a rebellion by its own shareholders.

For Microsoft to pull off such a deal the benefits would have to be so huge as to make people question how Nokia was able to exist without them.

On the web: Eldar Murtazin

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Tags: eldar murtazin  nokia  stephen elop  microsoft  windows phone