Last updated: September 10, 2013 - 3:05am
In business, struggling firm plus struggling firm rarely equals success. So say students of corporate strategy, who are skeptical that Microsoft can rejuvenate its lagging mobile-phone efforts through its planned acquisition of Nokia’s handset business.
"The evidence suggests that combining two weaklings doesn't create a strong player," says Robert Bruner, dean of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, and a longtime student of mergers. Juan Alcacer, a Harvard Business School associate professor who has studied Nokia, says companies with small market shares typically "are in a bad position for a good reason." Combining two of them, rarely works, he says: "Two bad companies don't make a good company."