I never thought I would write those words, but there it is. Just a few years ago, Nokia was lapping its competitors. Now it’s exiting. How evanescent is market leadership in ICTs?
Beleaguered Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia will sell its mobile phone unit to US group Microsoft for 5.44 billion euros ($7.17 billion), it said on Tuesday.
Nokia will grant Microsoft a 10-year non-exclusive licence to its patents and will itself focus on network infrastructure and services, which it called “the best path forward for Nokia and its shareholders.”
The company also announced the immediate departure of chief executive Stephen Elop. He will be replaced in the interim by Risto Siilasmaa, Nokia’s chairman of the board.
And what will Microsoft do? Find the synergies between handset manufacturing and Skype?
Did Microsoft (or users) benefit from Microsoft’s takeover of Skype? Was there any innovative technology that MS introduced to Skype?
Not a bad question to ask (I think Skype’s quality has gone down in recent years, possibly because too many people using it, possibly because Microsoft has not invested enough in it), but corporate mergers and acquisitions do not occur because the parties want to benefit users. It is because it’s a good deal in the circumstances. The seller is stanching losses (e.g., Nokia) and thinks this is the right time to sell. Andreessen made a bundle on Skype’s sale, by buying at the right time (when the entire sector was in a funk) and selling also at the right time.
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