News coming in slightly after midnight on the 10th of May, 2011 direct from the Wall Street Journal claimed that Microsoft Corp would soon be closing a deal with online communications platform Skype Technologies SA for a sum between 7 and 8 billion dollars USD. This report was quickly confirmed by Kara Swisher of All Things Digital, she noting her sources to be saying that this whole project would be announced early this morning at somewhere around $8.5 billion and has been spearheaded by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer being assisted by “dealmaker” Charles Songhurst. Big money for a big deal!
What all this means for you I’ll leave up to our fabulous analyst Ben Bajarin, but by all means, let the numbers continue. What Microsoft will be gaining in this deal is both Skype’s debt of $686 million as well as access to their 663 million registered users. Back in 2005, Skype was purchased by eBay for a whopping $2.6 million. In 2009, the online communications group had a 65% stake purchased by investors such as Silver Lake Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, as well as the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, at which time Skype was clocked in at a total value of $2.75 billion. So what the heck, Microsoft?
I’m sure we’ll here a lot more when what appears to be the official announcement time rolls around: 5 AM Pacific Time, early morning for the early morning video chatters to get a chattering. It all seems like a pretty big deal to yours truly and the rest of the crew – is it true? Is part or all of it true? What does this mean for the future of Skype’s user base? What about my Skype Android app? Will all Windows Phone 7 devices come stocked with video chat capabilities? Questions!