It's been something mused over for the past few years as a "what if" scenario, and tonight it has come to fruition: Microsoft is buying Nokia's Device and Services Unit and licensing the company's patent portfolio. Since partnering with Microsoft in early 2011 and launching the Lumia line of Windows Phone handhelds Nokia has held a leading and premiere position in the Windows Phone space, though they have struggled to gain significant market share and profitability even with the financial support of Microsoft. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, with Microsoft paying €3.79 billion for the Devices and Service Unit, and another €1.65 billion for the licensure of Nokia's patent portfolio.
The deal will see around 32,000 Nokia employees transferred to Microsoft. Additionally, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is stepping aside as the company's chief executive, replaced by Risto Siilasmaa as interim CEO (formerly chairman of the Nokia Board of Directors). Elop isn't going away - he's assumed the role of Nokia Executive Vice President of Devices & Services - in other words, he's in charge of the division of Nokia that is being sold to Microsoft, and thus will be one of the 32,000 employees making the transition.
The deal is, of course, subject to approval by Nokia's shareholders. To wit, an "extraordinary general meeting" of said shareholders has been called for 19 November 2013. Microsoft and Nokia expect the deal to close in the first quarter of 2014. The total deal adds up to €5.44 billion, or $7.12 billion in US dollars.