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Has Microsoft offered $19bn for Nokia's phone business?

Nokia: connecting its investors to $19 billion?
Nokia: connecting its investors to $19 billion?

Microsoft may have offered to take Nokia's ailing mobile phone business off its hands for $19 billion, if industry insider Eldar Murtazin has got his facts right.

He tweeted, "One small software company decided last week that they could spent 19 bln USD to buy a part of small phone vendor. Thats it."

When questioned over what two companies he was referring to, Murtazin clarified, "I think that's clear enough - MS and Nokia."

Corporate fun and games

As Nokia and Microsoft recently struck a billion-dollar deal over Windows Phone handsets, and given that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is an ex-Microsoft exec, nobody is going to be paralysed with shock if the buy-out rumours end up being true.

Nobody but Nokia's PR team, perhaps; when Murtazin first floated the idea that Nokia would soon be talking to Microsoft about offloading its phone arm in mid-May, they dismissed the rumour, saying: "We have to say that Eldar's rumours are getting obviously less accurate with every passing moment." Zing!

Yesterday Nokia revised its financial forecast for the forthcoming quarter, causing its shares to drop to their lowest since 1998.