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 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

Featured

  • Microsoft Hires Movial To Build Android OS for Microsoft Devices

    Microsoft has hired the Romanian operations of software engineering and design services company Movial to develop an Android-based operating system solution for the Microsoft Devices business segment.

  • Microsoft Ending Workflows for SharePoint 2010 Online Next Month

    Microsoft on Monday gave notice that it will be ending support this year for the "workflows" component of SharePoint 2010 Online, as well as deprecating that component for SharePoint 2013 Online.

  • Why Windows Phone Is Dead, But Not Completely Gone

    Don't call it a comeback (because that's not likely). But as Brien explains, there are three ways that today's smartphone market leaves the door open for Microsoft to bring Windows back to smartphones.

  • Feature Update Deferral Mix-Up in Windows 10 Version 2004 Further Explained

    Microsoft last week described the confusion it is attempting to avoid by removing the client graphical user interface (GUI)-based controls to defer Windows 10 feature updates, starting with version 2004.

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.