It's not the first time this rumour has popped up, but insatiable mobile gossiper Eldar Murtazin has claimed Microsoft has struck a deal with Nokia behind closed doors to snap up the Finns' phone business for a cool $19bn.
Evidence-wise there's little to make any kind of convincing argument, but that hasn't stopped the rumour from spreading like wildfire – so much so that Nokia boss Stephen Elop has been forced to issue an official denial.
Murtazin first claimed that Nokia was looking to strike a deal to sell its phone business to Microsoft a fortnight ago, a story that a Nokia UK PR quickly dismissed as without basis.
However, Murtazin is sticking to his guns, and now claims via Twitter that the deal is all but done: “One small software company decided last week that they could spent 19 bln USD to buy a part of small phone vendor. Thats it.”
This time the rumours have struck enough of a nerve at Nokia that Elop himself has spoken out, saying not only that the story isn't true, but that the two companies have never even talked about any possibility of a buyout.
“We have a great plan for our future, and we’re focused on executing that plan,” Elop said in an interview with Bloomberg. “The rumours are all over the place. There’s no basis for them.”
Denial or no, Murtazin's claims are likely to ring true for many people. After all, conspiracy theorists reckon former Microsoft exec Elop made the switch to Nokia to help facilitate just such a deal.