In 2011, Microsoft and Nokia partnered to create a "third" smartphone horse in the race against Apple and Android.
In September, it became more than a partnership when the two companies announced that Microsoft would buy Nokia's Devices & Services business, and bring Nokia CEO and former Microsoft employee Stephen Elop back to Microsoft. Shareholders approved the deal in November, and in December, it won European Commission approval.
Microsoft announced last month that it expected to close in April, and on Monday, it said it will close on Friday. On that date, Nokia's Devices & Services business will officially be part of Microsoft. Brad Smith, General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs at Microsoft writes on the company blog:
The completion of this acquisition follows several months of planning and will mark a key step on the journey towards integration. This acquisition will help Microsoft accelerate innovation and market adoption for Windows Phones. In addition, we look forward to introducing the next billion customers to Microsoft services via Nokia mobile phones.
As with any multinational agreement of this size, scale and complexity, our two companies have made adjustments to the original deal throughout the close preparation process. We’ve entered into numerous agreements to address items ranging from manufacturing to IT. These include the following:
· While the original deal did not address the management of online assets, our two companies have agreed that Microsoft will manage the nokia.com domain and social media sites for the benefit of both companies and our customers for up to a year.
· The original deal had all employees in Nokia’s Chief Technology Office continuing with Nokia. We’ve adjusted the agreement so the 21 employees in China working on mobile phones will join Microsoft and continue their work.
· The original deal had Microsoft acquiring Nokia’s Korean manufacturing facility. The agreement was adjusted and Microsoft will not acquire the facility.
Microsoft also announced on Monday that it has entered into a patent licensing agreement with Motorola Solutions, Inc. The deal covers devices running Android and Chrome OS.
"Microsoft and Motorola Solutions share a respect for intellectual property and a commitment to fair and reasonable patent licensing programs," said Nick Psyhogeos, GM, associate general counsel, IP licensing of the Innovation and Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. "Microsoft prefers licensing to litigation, since licensing is a more effective way to share technology and accelerate the pace of innovation."
"Our Motorola Solutions communications technology works best for everyone when it is backed with robust intellectual property and patents," said Joe White, vice president of Enterprise Mobile Computing, Motorola Solutions. "We are pleased to have agreed upon a solution that allows our customers to purchase Android products from Motorola Solutions with confidence."
Terms were of the patent agreement were not disclosed.
Image via Nokia