Microsoft eying buyout of Nokia

Rekindled spark?

Rumors are flying again that Microsoft is eying a buyout of Nokia. If Microsoft were to acquire some or all of Nokia, it would bring some of Nokia’s mobile technology design expertise in-house, and enable Microsoft to create a more vertical ecosystem.

A report from The Register suggests that in late 2011, Microsoft considered acquiring part or all of Nokia, to the extent that it even got permission to look through the company’s books to get a better sense of its financial situation. According to “well-placed sources,” Microsoft backed away from the idea, apparently unimpressed by what it found.

But things have changed since then: Nokia’s share price has dropped nearly 40% in the last three months, which may make Nokia a more attractive buy-out or investment target. If Microsoft balked at buying some or all of Nokia back in November, Nokia’s ever-lowering stock price may make it more appealing to Microsoft now.

Shares of Nokia jumped last week after rumors emerged that Samsung was interested in buying the handset maker, although according to Reuters, Samsung has since denied having interest. If Nokia is bought by a competitor, Microsoft can't count on the buyer being as committed to the Windows Phone as Nokia was.

Microsoft (MSFT : NASDAQ : US$29.29), Net Change: 0.40, % Change: 1.37%, Volume: 34,148,393
Nokia (NOK : NYSE : US$2.87), Net Change: 0.10, % Change: 3.61%, Volume: 19,181,528

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