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BlackBerry Rises After Microsoft Agrees to Buy Nokia Phone Unit

BlackBerry Ltd., the struggling Canadian smartphone maker weighing a sale, jumped in early U.S. trading after Microsoft Corp. agreed to acquire Nokia Oyj’s handset business in a $7.2 billion deal.

The shares advanced 3.3 percent to $10.45 at 7:52 a.m. New York time. They have fallen 6.1 percent since Aug. 12, when BlackBerry announced it was weighing a sale, and are down 15 percent this year.

A BlackBerry board committee began exploring a sale of the Waterloo, Ontario-based company last month while also studying partnerships to rescue it from a three-year sales slide that has slashed its market value by about 90 percent.

Microsoft agreed to buy BlackBerry rival Nokia’s handset business and license its patents, casting together the lot of two technology companies trying to stay relevant against more fleet-footed rivals. Both Nokia and BlackBerry have lost market share to Apple Inc. and devices running Google Inc.’s Android software.

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