Matt Drance with an excellent rundown of the Microsoft-Nokia acquisition. The whole thing is a must-read, but there’s two particularly salient points worth highlighting.
First, he points out that bad acquisitions were a hallmark of Ballmer’s tenure. No one seemed to be bringing this up in discussing his retirement, but it’s a very important reminder. Microsoft had a knack for overpaying and then deriving zero value for acquisitions. The second important point Drance brings up is the question of what this acquisition solves? Will Lumia phones sell better now that they’re under one roof? The mobile market is indeed an integrated game (hence Apple’s success), but even with the merger it’s hard to see how they’ll reap any integration value for at least the next year or two while they just try to get teams to settle. Drance also points out that the margin on Lumias was only about $40, of which Microsoft already got $10. So it’s also hard to see how they’ll be capturing more value now that they own the whole pie.