Finnish government says Microsoft broke promises

After 1,350 job cuts in Finland this week Finance Minister Alexander Stubb has criticized Microsoft for breaking promises it made 2 years ago when it purchased Nokia’s mobile assets, to keep research and development jobs in Finland, and generally keep it a tech hub for the company.

“I am disappointed because of the (initial) promises made by Microsoft,” Finance Minister Alexander Stubb said in a parliament plenary.

“One example is that the data center did not materialize despite the company’s promise.”

Employment Minister Jari Lindstrom was equally critical, saying “The company must bear as big a responsibility as possible over what they have done by laying off people.”

This view is not universally shared by all however. Nokia, which had 40% phone market share in 2008, was already in steep decline, leading some to express the belief that the $7.2 billion Microsoft paid for the company, and the several billion more they now need to shell out to shutter the business was one of the best deals Nokia has ever made.

“(Nokia board chairman Risto) Siilasmaa should be given a medal. The Microsoft deal can be considered as one of the best in Finnish industrial history,” Arno Ahosniemi, editor-in-chief at business daily Kauppalehti, said in a column.

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