The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft is in talks to buy Luxembourg-based firm Skype™ for up to $8.5bn (£5.2bn) and i think its already a deal. Microsoft confirmed on Tuesday it has agreed an $8.5bn (£5bn) cash deal to buy internet telephony service Skype, the biggest deal in its 36-year history.
The acquisition will see Skype established as a separate business division inside Microsoft, dubbed Microsoft Skype, alongside XBox Live, Kinect and Windows Phone. Tony Bates, the Skype chief executive, will become president of Microsoft Skype and report directly to the technology giant’s chief executive, Steve Ballmer.
Spring 2003: Skype is founded by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, two technology developers and entrepreneurs. The pair had already made their name by creating Kazaa, a peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing program which – rather like Napster – proved highly popular with PC users but provoked the wrath of the entertainment industry.
Read the history of skype @ http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/may/10/skype-timeline-start-up-sale
September 2009: eBay abandons the planned IPO, and instead sells a 65% stake in Skype to a group of investors for $2bn. This includes a venture capital firm owned by Marc Andreessen, the technology pioneer who created the Netscape browser in the 1990s. But the legal problems linger – instead, Zennström’s Joltid launches fresh legal action against both eBay and Skype claiming copyright violation.
November 2009: Joltid takes a 14% stake in Skype, in return for dropping its lawsuits and injecting a substantial amount of capital into the firm. This left Skype’s new owners holding 56%, with eBay still owning 30%.
August 2010: Skype announces plans to float on the US stock market. It also faces opposition from BSkyB over the trademark for ‘Skype’ in Europe.
Skype in Microsoft’s Hand, Whats your Take?