Microsoft's $7.2 Billion Nokia Acquisition May Not Discourage BlackBerry Buyout (MSFT, NOK, BBRY)
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) may fight for additional market share by acquiring another former stalwart in the mobile phone space.
That purchase price includes the license of Nokia's patents, which are crucial to the design and manufacturing of handsets.
BlackBerry has a potent portfolio of patents that could be very attractive to any technology firm, including Microsoft. While the company has been linked to a number of prospective buyers, the potential for a BlackBerry/Microsoft union has been intriguing to many investors.
That said, it is highly unlikely that Microsoft will acquire two different smartphone manufacturers in the same year. The regulatory hurdles are more than enough to delay any buyout plans.
More Handsets, Fewer Manufacturers?
Microsoft acquired Nokia's handset business to gain access to the firm's talent, its product line and manufacturing channels. Going forward, Lumia and Asha devices -- and any other smartphone Microsoft develops -- will be sold under the familiar Microsoft banner. This means that the Nokia name will never be seen on another smartphone.
Microsoft is likely doing this for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it wants to avoid confusion in the marketplace by having multiple names on its devices. Second, Microsoft knows that its own name is stronger than that of the handset maker it just purchased.
BlackBerry could avoid a similar fate since the company name is actually based on its product line. Up until this year, the firm was known as Research In Motion.
Microsoft could feasibly benefit from having another line of devices to go along with whatever Nokia-style handsets it produces. But what would the company do with the BlackBerry operating system?
Android and iOS command the vast majority of the smartphone market. Microsoft wants to change that by increasing the popularity of its own Windows Phone format. If Microsoft acquires BlackBerry, it is unlikely to diminish Windows Phone's value and potential by continuing to produce new handsets with BlackBerry OS.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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