General

In a move aimed at bettering its position in our new mobile world, Microsoft agreed to buy phone maker Nokia for the tidy sum of $7.2 billion. At Bloomberg, Matthew Campbell and Aaron Kirchfeld have some details on how the deal came together:

Nokia’s codename in the talks was Nurmi, named after Paavo Johannes Nurmi, the nine-time gold medal runner known as the “the Flying Finn.” Microsoft was dubbed Edwin Moses, for the American track-and-field athlete who won two gold medals in the hurdles.

Nokia’s board met more than 50 times to deliberate on a sale, a process described as a soul-searching exercise by the people, who asked not to be identified.

Timed to follow last month’s announcement that Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer would retire, the Nokia deal is intended to set up the U.S. company for a renewed assault on the smartphone and tablet markets, the people said. Once the world’s most dominant technology firm, Microsoft under Ballmer has lagged behind Google Inc. and Apple Inc. in fast-growing mobile devices, amid contraction in the personal-computer market it helped invent.