Nokia weighs Alcatel tie-up after Microsoft deal: Sources
NEW YORK/HELSINKI (REUTERS) - Nokia is discussing internally whether to approach French rival Alcatel-Lucent about a tie-up, part of the Finnish company's review of how it can grow after the planned sale of its handset business to Microsoft Corp, several people close to the matter said.
No formal talks are underway with Alcatel-Lucent, the sources said. One of the people close to the matter said Nokia held "on again, off again" discussions about buying Alcatel's wireless business as recently as late 2012 and that the two companies could still come back to the table.
Speculation over a combination between Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent goes back several years, as both have struggled to compete with market leader Ericsson and low-cost Asian network equipment rivals Huawei and ZTE .
Microsoft announced on Sept 3 that it will buy Nokia's phone business and license its patents for 5.44 billion euros (S$9.4 billion). Nokia has said it will evaluate strategy for its remaining operations before the deal closes. Those businesses include a mapping software unit called Here and a portfolio of patents.