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Microsoft rumored near paying $8 billion to buy Skype [U]

updated 11:00 pm EDT, Mon May 9, 2011

Microsoft may buy Skype for 8b

(Update: more sources and details) A rumored collaboration between Microsoft and Skype might be nothing less than a full takeover. Insiders said Monday night that the company was near a deal worth $7 billion to $8 billion. The Wall Street Journal heard it could be sealed as soon as Tuesday and would assume an extra half billion of Skype debt.

Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase have supposedly given financial advice on the prospects of a deal.

The exact aims of buying Skype wouldn't be clear. Microsoft Lync integrates voice with e-mail and instant messaging for enterprise users and could get help from a deal. Skype's primary audience is home users, however, and would need to be stretched elsewhere to be useful. Speculation has suggested that Microsoft might try to take Skype beyond the upcoming Windows Phone 7 app and merge it into the mobile OS itself, possibly as a clone of Google Voice.

Any deal could be potentially thorny and get resistance from much of the cellphone industry. Skype is a staple app for VoIP on iOS. Verizon was also supposed to be depending heavily on Skype for video chat on its 4G Android phones but could see support pulled if a Microsoft deal goes through. Apart from Verizon, carriers also see Skype as the easy option for an officially sanctioned VoIP calling option.

Update: Extra sources said that the deal was virtually certain and would be made public early on Tuesday. Microsoft's key negotiator is purportedly Charles Songhurst, who axed the one-time attempt at buying Yahoo.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. MorituriMax

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +23

    Great

    Well, there goes Skype, soon to be no more.

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    RE: Great

    Couldn't agree more!

    /

  1. chas_m

    Joined:

    +5

    We'll see

    First of all, the WSJ might (might) be wrong about this. Wouldn't be the first time.

    Second, I think the Feds would have something to say about it.

    Third, who knows -- maybe MS can clean up that godawful v5 interface. Wait, what am I saying?! :)

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Yeah...

    Yeah, I was hoping for a close alliance between Skype and Google Voice, along with companies like T-Mobile integrating Google Voice and its features into their cellular service. A Microsoft buyout will probably drive everyone else away for Skype. If AT&T gets their way, there'll soon be no T-Mobile. Two years from now, things in telephony may be getting rather bleak.

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Ohdeargodno.

    They'll probably do something like re-badge it "Zune For Voice!"

    And no more live video - we'll all have MS-Weeble avatars with our faces on them.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    Bye bye

    Touched by MS. Goodbye!

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Yey

    All they buy is a brand that is easily killed, lets see how long it can survive under MS's wings. Apples and Goofle should work together on video calling and work on a standard.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Daaayumn!

    I guess they really didn't want Cisco to have it.

  1. ebeyer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    The three Es.

    Embrace, extend (to Win Phone 7? --eew) and extinguish.

    Reminds me of what happened to Halo. So sad.

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