Microsoft may be poised to purchase Nokia’s smartphone division by the middle of 2012. Analysts at Danske Bank sparked speculation in a report in which they said a deal with Microsoft “makes sense”, according to Bloomberg.
A deal with Redmond has been rumored ever since Nokia named Microsoft executive Stephen Elop as their CEO in September 2010. Nokia shipped their first smartphones running Windows Phone operating system this quarter. The Lumia 800 and 710 were introduced in late October and have been billed by many as the best Windows Phones yet.
Such a merger could be good for both businesses as Microsoft competes with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems for market share.
Nokia stock rose as much as 3.2 percent based on the report. Danske Bank has even changed their recommendation on Nokia from “hold” to “buy”. Company stock has declined significantly in the past year, losing roughly 50 percent of its value since January. Nokia is currently valued around $19.1 billion.
A deal with Nokia wouldn’t be the first high profile acquisition in recent memory. In August, Google agreed to purchase Motorola’s mobile unit for $12.5 billion. The deal is still pending customary regulatory approvals but if passed, it would mark Google’s largest-ever acquisition.
A spokesman for Nokia, Doug Dawson, denied the report in an email statement to Bloomberg, saying the company put these rumors to rest a long time ago.