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Microsoft Out$18 Billion on Ballmer Nokia Deal: Real M&A

Microsoft Corp.’s $7.2 billion takeover of Nokia Oyj’s handset business cost shareholders more than twice that as it dashed hopes for a fresh start under Steve Ballmer’s successor.

The world’s largest software company lost $18 billion in market value since the purchase of Nokia’s mobile-phone assets was disclosed, erasing all of the gains that followed the announcement last month that Ballmer is retiring, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The agreement cements the departing chief executive officer’s shift toward the more volatile consumer-device business and leaves little room for his successor to take a different tack, Atlantic Equities LLP said.