News

UPDATE: Microsoft's Skype Purchase Approved by U.S. Regulators

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission indicated on Friday that Microsoft received U.S. governmental approval to buy Skype, estimated at $8.5 billion.

The FTC's "early termination" notice includes the U.S. Department of Justice approval under the current process, so the deal now just requires international regulatory approvals to proceed. Luxembourg-based Skype provides IP-based voice and video services enabled through computers, with most subscribers using its free services rather than its premium offerings.

Under the terms of the deal announced on May 10, Microsoft plans to run Skype as a division of Microsoft, headed by current Skype CEO Tony Bates. Skype's technologies may be rolled into certain Microsoft products, such as Outlook, Xbox, Kinect, Messenger, Hotmail and Lync, according to comments made last month by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Skype has claimed it had "an average of 145 million connected users per month" in the fourth quarter of last year. Skype's ownership is led by Menlo Park, Calif.-based Silver Lake investment partners. Other owners include eBay Inc., Joltid Ltd. and Skype's founders, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Andreessen Horowitz, according to Skype's description.

Skype's management terminated the employment of about eight executives before the merger, as noted by the independent Skype Journal blog here. The reasons for the job cuts aren't clear, but the Journal speculated that Tony Bates wants to hand pick the team or that Microsoft has its own team in place.

A Bloomberg article posits another possibility for the executive dismissals, with a source speculating that the cuts will lower Skype's stock option price should someone want to buy them. Silver Lake floated a list of executives to cut, according to the Bloomberg article. The investment company may hold about 70 percent of Skype, which is what it purchased from EBay in 2009.

One of the terminated Skype execs was David Gurle, who formerly served as vice president of the company. Previous to joining Skype, Gurle had founded Microsoft's Real Time Communications business group, according to a Skype bio.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

Featured

  • RAMBleed Side-Channel Attack Method Disclosed by Researchers

    Academic researchers this week published information about another side-channel attack method, called "RAMBleed," that can expose information from memory chips, including encryption key information.

  • Penguin

    Windows 10 Preview Build 18917 Shows Off New Linux Integration

    Microsoft's latest Windows 10 "fast-ring" preview release is showcasing a coming Delivery Optimization enhancement, along with the ability to try the newly emerged Windows Subsystem for Linux version 2.

  • Customizing Microsoft Office 365

    While the overall look and feel of Office 365 is pretty standard across organizations, there are several ways to personalize it and make it fit better with your company's specific needs.

  • Microsoft 365 Business Tenants Getting Conditional Access and Trouble-Ticket Features

    Microsoft added its conditional access security service to Microsoft 365 Business subscriptions, according to a Wednesday announcement, and it also added new trouble-ticket features for Microsoft 365 administrators.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.