Microsoft Gobbles Up Nokia For Its Mini-Monopolies — Patents
|November 29, 2013||Posted by Staff under Patent Copyright|
Microsoft says it is buying Nokia’s devices and services business, and getting access to the company’s patents, for a total of 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion) in an effort to expand its share of the smartphone market. Nokia confirmed the deal in a joint news release.
This is a major step in Microsoft’s push to transform itself from a software maker focused on making operating systems and applications for desktop and laptop computers into a more versatile and nimble company that delivers services on any kind of Internet-connected gadget.
The purchase in an attempt to mount a more formidable challenge to Apple Inc. and Google Inc. as more technological tasks get done on mobile devices instead of personal computers.
The shift is weakening Microsoft, which has dominated the PC software market for the past 30 years, and empowering Apple, the maker of the trend-setting iPhone and iPad, and Google, which gives away the world’s most popular mobile operating system, Android.
Nokia, based in Espoo, Finland, and Microsoft have been trying to make inroads in the smartphone market as part of a partnership forged in 2011. But their devices haven’t emerged as a popular alternative to the iPhone or an array of Android-powered devices spearheaded by Samsung Electronics’ smartphones and tablets.
Microsoft is betting it will have a better chance of narrowing the gap if it seizes complete control over how the mobile devices work with its Windows software.
Microsoft hopes to complete the deal early next year. If that timetable pans out, about 32,000 Nokia employees will transfer to Microsoft, which currently has about 99,000 workers.
It will represent the second most expensive acquisition in Microsoft’s 38-year history, ranking behind an $8.5 billion purchase of Internet calling and video conferencing service Skype.
The money to buy Nokia’s smartphones and patents will be drawn from the nearly $70 billion that Microsoft held in overseas accounts as of June 30.
Ed. Notes: So Microsoft seeks total control, rather than cooperation. That means they are a top-down company. Could that be why they lost touch with the market?
All those billions they keep offshore — how is that legal? Not that it’s offshore, out of the grasp of the taxman, but that they don’t have to use the huge profit to pay stockholders huge dividends. Why is cheating shareholders not considered theft?
Further, the value of the patents, not the value of buildings or machines, is the most valuable thing in Nokia. Patents, little pieces of paper that grant monopoly control over some turf in the field of knowledge, and that cost a pittance. Some analysts estimate that patents and copyrights account for 80% of the value of companies listed on Wall Street’s NYSE. But if the value is not in the product but in the monopoly over part of the market, then shouldn’t we raise what we charge for patents and copyrights up to full market value?