Microsoft was reportedly close to buying Nokia's device unit, until talks recently stopped
However talks, which happened as recently as this month, have reportedly now ceased. Microsoft is said to have declined the deal because of the price of Nokia and its position in the market, trailing behind Samsung and Apple. Discussions between the two companies were held in London, and given that Nokia is operated outside of the US, the deal would have been the perfect chance for Microsoft to use its $66 billion in offshore capital.
Furthermore, the acquisition would have expanded on Nokia and Microsoft's already intertwined relationship. Nokia takes advantage of Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 software on its line of handsets, while Microsoft sees Nokia as one of the premiere makers of Windows Phone handsets. Both have yet to have a huge outbreak in the mobile phone market in recent years, though.
The deal could have been similar to Google's 2011 acquisition of Motorola. Google now lets Motorola operate as a separate entity developing hardware, as Google reaps from Motorola's patents and potential profit from hardware (though the latter is yet to come). Microsoft could have done the same with Nokia, which actually develops some pretty notable hardware.
There's no word on for how much the deal was being considered, but we now know that it looks like a fantasy of the past.