No, Facebook should not buy Nokia

No, Facebook should not buy Nokia

Summary: Some believe that Facebook should buy Nokia and/or Yahoo. I look at the pros and cons and ultimately conclude whether one successful company should buy two declining companies.


Forbes yesterday published an article arguing that Facebook should buy Nokia. I strongly disagree. I don't think the American social networking giant should buy the Finnish cell phone giant because the move simply doesn't make sense. Facebook needs to up its strategy in mobile, but buying a (currently) declining mobile company is not the way to do it.

Here are the six points from the article outlining why Facebook should acquire Nokia:

  • Facebook needs revenues and EBITDA.
  • Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) have committed to a combined hardware/software solution for mobile phones.
  • Alex Cocotas of BI Intelligence predicts that 1.5 billion smart phones will be sold in 2016.
  • Facebook's making nothing from mobile now and it's not clear they ever will.
  • Nokia is already in bed with Microsoft (MSFT), which is a close Facebook partner (and investor).
  • Zuckerberg clearly has global ambitions and taking over Nokia plays into that narcissistic fantasy.

These points can be summarized by saying something like "Facebook should buy Nokia so that it can make money in mobile to compete with Apple and Google." It doesn't explain why Nokia is the way to do it. Frankly, I think it's even more ridiculous than buying webOS from HP, which is saying something.

Facebook has a mobile strategy; it just hasn't been tested yet. Earlier this week, the company announced a huge mobile push. First, it announced mobile payments (it is working with operators around the world to minimize the number of steps needed to complete a transaction in mobile web apps). Next it released a mobile browser test suite (to help push mobile Web apps by helping developers understand which mobile browsers support the functionality their app needs). Lastly, yesterday it unveiled mobile ads (to start monetizing its 425 million monthly mobile users).

That's right; all of this happened at the end of February 2012. I'm pretty sure the social networking giant has mobile revenue plans that don't include Nokia. It's been working on them for a long time and is only now starting to push them out. This is just the beginning.

By the way, the article also talks about why Facebook should buy Yahoo. Earlier this week, Yahoo became a patent troll when it threatened Facebook with a patent war. Facebook is currently weighing its options, but something tells me that buying Yahoo outright would be a last resort.

Having Yahoo's patents certainly would help, and there are still many key employees at the failing Internet giant, but Yahoo is still too expensive at this point. If Facebook really were to buy Yahoo, I would argue it should happen when Yahoo hits rock bottom, which I believe hasn't happened yet.

See also:

Topics: Nokia, Mobility, Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • Oh dear.

    Sorry, would the writer like to explain why buying Web OS would be a better idea and less ridiculous than buying Nokia?

    Is he off his rocker? Nokia is still the largest phone manufacturer in the world and third largest smartphone manufacturer. Nokia also has the biggest amount of patents in its industry with over 30,000 in its patent library. It would be a much better buy than Web OS from HP!!

    What is the point of this article anyway. Do you seriously think Nokia would let themselves be bought? They are even turning themselves around as we speak with reintroduction into the U.S. market and the strategic partnering with Microsoft.
    • Nokia's turn around

      Is being hampered more by Microsoft than helped. Rather than being able to be innovative, Nokia has been reduced to a Microsoft lap dog.
      Jumpin Jack Flash
  • What about

    Ballmer's narcissistic fantasy. Or does that fall under the heading of Megalomania?
    Jumpin Jack Flash
    • So how many screen names are you posting under

      "Junpin Jack Flash"? ;
      William Farrel
      • Only one

        Unlike you and your dozen screen names.
        Jumpin Jack Flash
  • Nokia makes NO sense for FB.

    They'd have to know something about building actual, real products instead of just running a web site.
  • Didn't Microsoft buy Nokia?

    Umm, didn't Microsoft just buy Nokia? Are they still for sale?
    • Microsoft owns part..

      Of both Facebook and Nokia.
      Jumpin Jack Flash
  • Two random company names

    I guess that it is now OK to take two random company names and write an article that one company should/should not buy another. What else? Facebook should not buy Boeing and Microsoft should not buy Craft Foods and Batesville Casket co? ;)
  • What's next, Kodak?

    Facebook is about to go public. Nothing would do more to hose that up than using billions in assets to acquire something with negative-growth stink.
    Robert Hahn
  • FB hollow heads

    That is the most ludicrous idea that I have heard for a while. Facebook has nothing to do with mobile and would destroy Nokia by an acquisition.

    Making a mobile communication device is not like designing a "Like" button.
  • Meaningless megalomaniacal thinking

    Facebook buying Nokia is one of the most ridiculous suggestions I've come across. All said and done, Nokia still makes some really good feature phones and that's a huge market. They still have great voice quality, navigation and value for money.
    If FB buys Nokia, I can't even begin to count the horrors I foresee. I'm imagining mass suicides and arson at Nokia to start with.
  • Buying Nokia is a crazy idea but buying Yahoo may not be.

    Buying Nokia is a crazy idea but buying Yahoo may not be. It would enable Facebook to really integrate with Search like never before.

    There's services to a degree do the same thing to (online information data mining).
  • plz! its no benefit buying Nokia

    FB is not crazy