NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Microsoft's (MSFT) decision to purchase Nokia's (NOK) Devices & Services business in a transaction valued at $7.17 billion is huge news Tuesday, as investors, analysts and the media weigh in with their thoughts.
Under the terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, Microsoft will acquire Nokia's Devices & Services business, license non-exclusively Nokia's patents, and license and use Nokia's mapping services.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who is stepping down within the next 12 months, said the deal was "a win-win" for everyone. "Bringing these great teams together will accelerate Microsoft's share and profits in phones, and strengthen the overall opportunities for both Microsoft and our partners across our entire family of devices and services," Ballmer said.
There is mixed opinion from Wall Street analysts on the deal, with some looking at this as Microsoft going "all-in" on its mobile strategy. Here is what a few of them had to say:Oppenheimer analyst Shaul Eyal (MSFT Outperform, $37 PT) "With the acquisition of NOK's D&S unit, MSFT is placing a final bet on its mobile opportunity. While the transaction does not come as a full surprise, it does remove an uncertainty enabling investors to weigh the chance of getting it right this time. We view the transaction as a MSFT call option on mobile, whereby some positive reward could be reaped from the money entered. If the option expires, then (hopefully) not too much damage will have been done. While the transaction poses some near-term integration risk, the following near-term catalysts could outweigh it: 1. potential dividend hike; 2. new external CEO with potentially fresh strategic thinking; 3. shareholder activism (ValueAct). Maintain Outperform." Citi analyst Walter Pritchard (MSFT Buy, $35 PT) "MSFT is entering the phone business in a major way with an eye on improving its sub 5% share position by owning the business end-to-end. While MSFT will continue OEM relationships, it adopts a strategy similar to Apple in phones, trading its OEM license (
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