Light Reading

Nokia Poll: Microsoft Merger Expected

Ray Le Maistre

Nearly half of the respondents who have voted so far in the Light Reading poll regarding Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s fate believe the Finnish handset firm will be swallowed by Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). (See Light Reading Poll: What Will Nokia Be in 2014?)

The chart below shows the results of the votes cast by more than 150 respondents within hours of the poll going live.

The results show that Nokia's attempts to revive itself as a growing and profitable independent company by instigating a massive restructuring program have not convinced Light Reading's audience, with only 20 percent of respondents expecting Nokia to be a standalone entity in 2014. In fact, more respondents (23 percent) believe Nokia will cease to exist. (See Nokia Cuts 10,000 Jobs, Restructures.)

A merger with Nokia's OS partner, Microsoft, is the most favored option. (See Nokia Unveils Major Revamp and Nokia, Microsoft Team Up.)

But it's early days in the voting and the results may change radically in the coming days as more people cast their votes.

Some readers have other ideas, though. Message board suggestions include Samsung Corp. and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. as potential suitors for Nokia, while one reader suggests a tie-up with Microsoft followed by the acquisition of BlackBerry .

If you haven't already, you can cast your vote here.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:30:03 PM
re: Nokia Poll: Microsoft Merger Expected

The bigger question is, could Microsoft actually acquire Nokia?  There will be many reviews of any acquisition plan.  Elop a former Microsoft officer still holds Microsoft stock.  Nokia and Microsoft pre-Elop being CEO of Nokia were competitors.  One has to question is he wants Nokia to succeed or not?  If Nokia did everything without Microsoft Elop could make a sizeable sum.  If Microsoft bought Nokia, then Elop would be helping his MSFT holdings as well as cement a future at Microsoft as well and could make an even bigger fortune.  Elop holding MSFT stock is a conflict of interest.  If MSFT did buy Nokia it would be at a loss to the shareholders of Nokia.  So either lawsuits could be filed on behalf of the shareholders or he governments around could take a really big hard look at any acquisition.

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:29:55 PM
re: Nokia Poll: Microsoft Merger Expected

Good point, but there are 9 others on the Board of Directors. I'm no lawyer, but if the board approves a merger with MS, I'm not sure if a conflict of interest would play into such a merger. Also, despite what the poll shows, not sure if such a merger with a very troubled company would really give MS a company to take on Apple and Android.l

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:29:53 PM
re: Nokia Poll: Microsoft Merger Expected

The board of directors are not involved in the day to day running of the company, in this case Elop is.  There is a huge conflict of interest with Elop running the company and look at the share price pre and post-Elop.  There has been a huge value loss there.  With Elop pulling the strings and making a former competitor (one he did work for and still own stock in) into a partner, that is a conflict of interest.  The Nokia shareholders will lose money on any sale that takes place.  I would expect any acquisition from Microsoft to face multiple lawsuits and investigations to see how deep this really goes.  While at Microsoft he did head the division responsible for Microsoft Office and more importantly was a member of their senior leadership team.  Nokia and Microsoft were competitors and whenever a senior leader moves to a competitor, lawsuits are filed.  Microsoft never objected to Elop running Nokia.  Draw your own conclusion.


Elop was just a horrible idea.  You had HP suing Oracle over Mike Hurd.  Why would hiring an executive from Microsoft that is still tied to Microsoft be a good idea?  Look at his track record; CIO of Boson Chicken in 1992, they filed bankruptcy in 1998.  He then went to Macromedia for seven years and for 3 months was CEO before being bought by Adobe.  He stayed at Adobe for about 18 months before he left.  He was COO of Juniper for a year.  He then went to work for Microsoft for about 2.5 years.  He left and went to Nokia to become CEO.  There is nothing spectacular about his career; he seems to move around a lot.  He has worked for a total of 7 companies, one went under, one was acquired and what value did he bring to the others?  It is not like he has shown previous skill in turning a company around which is what Nokia needed.


Microsoft cannot take on Apple and Android.  They believe they can just like they believe WP and Metro are the best thing since sliced bread.  The problem is, they are delusional.  Windows 8 will be a flop as they are forcing Metro onto users that have been saying no to it.  Even on their previews people are complaining and Microsoft is not listening.  That has always been an issue with Microsoft, they don’t listen.

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