Microsoft to buy Nokia’s mobile devices business for 5.44-B euros

NEW YORK, (PNA/Kyodo) — Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday it has agreed to buy the mobile devices and services business of Finland’s Nokia Corp. for 5.44 billion euros, aiming to catch up in the smartphone market dominated by operating systems run by Apple Inc. and Google Inc.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia’s shareholders, the two companies said in a press release.

With the acquisition, the U.S. technology giant, which supplies Windows operating systems, aims to strengthen its mobile devices business by teaming up with the handset manufacturer.