Microsoft and Skype aren’t spilling the beans just yet, but a press release is expected at 5pm Pacific time, which is, er, 1am here? Yeah, I think that’s right.
The deal is expected to cost Microsoft somewhere in the region of $7 to 8 billion, making it the biggest acquisition in the company’s 36-year history.
Skype has a rather colourful history itself. It was launched in 2003 by the dudes behind Kazaa, so it was somewhat synonymous with piracy. eBay purchased the company in 2005 as a means for its customers to communicate, but bailed in 2009 after lacklustre results.
Legal problems have also plagued Skype, though it’s clean enough these days to make it attractive to Microsoft. However, profit is something that has largely eluded Skype. It had $686 million in long-term debt at the turn of the year.
We look forward to seeing what Ballmer and Co do with their new baby.