[Rumor] Microsoft Considering Buying Nokia in 2011

There has always been some speculation that Microsoft has considered buying out Nokia, but The Register is running with a rumor saying that last year the proceedings got far enough for Nokia to allow Microsoft a peek into their financial books.

But well-placed sources tell us that Microsoft was given access to Nokia’s books late last year in an attempt to evaluate which parts, if any, were worth acquiring. Not many people know this. The story is that having had a gander, Microsoft walked away.

The only reason Microsoft would have paid a premium for Nokia last year was to keep it out of the hands of a rival. But it’s hard to see which buyer would have valued Nokia as highly as Microsoft does, and would have paid a premium.

That’s an interesting take on Nokia, as it seems to paint the picture that not even its partners want to acquire it. However, what’s more likely the case is that Microsoft prefers to have all the benefits of Nokia operating as a partner with none of the associated cost of running the company itself.

[via The Register]