Elop: Rumors about Nokia selling its mobile business to Microsoft are baseless
Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop, has been interviewed by CNBC yesterday, and he had some interesting things to say regarding those rumored talks between Nokia and Microsoft concerning a possible sale of the former company’s mobile division to the latter software giant.
Specifically, Elop said: “Those rumors are baseless. There are no conversations”.
“The rumors are baseless” is, of course, what Nokia spokesperson Doug Dawson told Reuters yesterday in response to a post on BGR which said that Microsoft has agreed to buy Nokia’s mobile division for $19 billion. The information there was based solely on a tweet by the famous Eldar Murtazin, a tweet in which, unlike his usual behavior, he doesn’t explicitly say anything. See for yourself:
Eldar Murtazin has made many claims about Nokia in the past (and much of what he said turned out to be true, including Nokia’s use of the Windows Phone operating system), but never before was he so careful as to only imply things. Which, let’s face it, is odd.
Nokia’s first response to Eldar’s allegations about sales talks was a lot less formal (“We normally don’t comment on rumours as you know, but we have to say that Eldar’s rumours are obviously getting less accurate with every passing moment”) and came after the Russian journalist claimed that the talks were on the verge of starting.
These latest denials, both by the spokesperson, as well as Mr. Elop himself, are a lot more to the point, as they should be after such a rumor has affected your company’s stock price.
Anyway, Nokia’s official denial issued by its spokesperson doesn’t tell us whether there have been talks between the two companies about a sale. Stephen Elop though does explicitly deny that there were ever any such talks. Which is interesting. And instantly brings up some questions.
If there never were any talks, why would Eldar Murtazin lie? Or was he simply misinformed (or even played) by one of his sources?
And what if Nokia and Stephen Elop are lying and there have been talks? What if this is one of those classic denials that are made because people aren’t yet ready to announce the deal? I mean, would Elop have said “yes we are talking to Microsoft about selling ourselves”? Even if that was true? Probably not. Especially if those talks are far from finalized. So do take Elop’s words with a grain of salt. That said, there’s no reason (right now, at least) to think that a sale to Microsoft is imminent, and there never was.
Here’s the entire CNBC interview with Stephen Elop: