Microsoft Started Nokia Buyout Talks Back in February
Microsoft's purchase of Nokia was initiated by the software giant following a meeting between the two companies at the start of this year, it has emerged.
The price was agreed on early as July, but the announcement was held back in part to ensure that it coincided with the retirement of Microsoft's CEO, Steve Ballmer.
Citing people familiar with the sale talks, Bloomberg News reported that Steve Ballmer made the initial pitch to Nokia's Chairman, Risto Siilasmaa at the Mobile World Congress, but Nokia's board of directors met at least 50 times to discuss the deal before finally approving it.
Both sides had conceded that the Windows Phone partnership had not been the hoped for success with both companies running sometimes competing marketing campaigns and trying to encourage developers to work on mobile apps for the OS.
Microsoft now wanted more control over the hardware side, while Nokia was looking for a deep pocketed financial backer for the company. A sale of the handset business, while drastic, would suit both sides.
Although the main details were agreed by mid-summer, the companies spent most of August on a complex due-diligence of Nokia's handset operations before finally agreeing on the deal.
"There is clearly of course some emotion attached to this, me being a Finn and all that," Nokia Chief Financial Officer Timo Ihamuotila said in a Bloomberg Television interview.
Microsoft may not stop with Nokia though. It is still being named as a possible buyer for ailing smartphone vendor, BlackBerry.
On the web: Bloomberg News