Microsoft Corp. reached a deal to acquire Nokia Corp.’s mobile phone business and patents for 5.44 billion euros, the companies said. In a release Tuesday, Microsoft said through the deal the company will acquire Nokia’s devices and services business for 3.79 billion euros ($5.25 billion) and licence its patents for 10 years for 1.65 billion euros ($2.29 billion). About 32,000 Nokia employees will come under Microsoft’s control. “The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia’s shareholders, regulatory approvals and other closing conditions,” a release said. The two companies have partnered over the past year to include Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system on new versions of Nokia’s smartphones since the platform’s release last October. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in the release that the deal would produce synergies across the companies’ marketing, branding and advertising teams. “Bringing these great teams together will accelerate Microsoft’s share and profits in phones, and strengthen the overall opportunities for both Microsoft and our partners across our entire family of devices and services,” he said. Research firm IDC said in August that the Windows mobile operating system had the third-most sales among all mobile operating systems in the second quarter of 2013, with a 3.7 per cent share of global sales and 8.7 million units shipped in the quarter. Nokia sold 53.7 million phones across all of its operating systems in the second quarter, the companies said in released Tuesday.