WSJ: Nokia and Microsoft spoke about a buyout as recently as this month

WSJ: Nokia and Microsoft spoke about a buyout as recently as this monthThe “Elop as Trojan Horse” conspiracy theories may have subsided, but plenty still believe Microsoft would still happily snap up Nokia should the latter's Windows Phone revival not work out.

And they'll certainly be interested to hear the latest report on the subject from the WSJ: that the pair recently held “advanced talks” over a possible Microsoft buyout of Nokia's handset business, but couldn't agree a price.

The insiders behind the leak claim talks took place as recently as this month, but said they weren't likely to be revived anytime soon.

Surprisingly, Nokia chose to address the rumours in a statement this morning, rather than go down the usual route of declining to comment (the approach Microsoft is taking, incidentally).

“We have a deep partnership with Microsoft, and it is not uncommon for Nokia and Microsoft to meet on a regular basis,” a Nokia spokeswoman said.

When Nokia and Microsoft decided to work together in early 2012 to put Windows Phone on Nokia smartphones, cynics pointed to new Nokia CEO Stephen Elop's history as a Microsoft executive and suggested the move was designed to soften Nokia up for a Microsoft buyout.

Enough water has passed under the bridge for those rumours to have largely subsided, but with Nokia's Lumia range still stuttering along despite heavy marketing by Nokia and favourable treatment by Microsoft, news that the companies are even still considering a buyout will shoot those theories to the forefront again.

The irony now is that with Microsoft already backing Nokia's Windows Phones so heavily, it's hard to see what it could do to improve matters even if it did own Nokia outright.

Then again, having committed to the Finnish firm so heavily, it simply can't afford for Nokia to go down altogether. So if things do get so bad that falling fully under Microsoft's umbrella is the only way for Nokia to survive, a deal would be a no-brainer – but it would be unlikely to make any new friends for either party.

Read more about: Windows Phone

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