Microsoft Near Deal to Buy Skype for Nearly $8 Billion ➝

Anupreeta Das and Nick Wingfield, reporting for the Wall Street Journal:

At a value close to $8 billion, the Skype deal would rank as the biggest acquisition in the 36-year history of Microsoft, a company that traditionally has shied away from large deals. In 2007, Microsoft paid approximately $6 billion to acquire online advertising firm aQuantive Inc. Many current and former Microsoft executives believe Microsoft significantly overpaid for that deal. But they are also relieved that Microsoft gave up on an unsolicited $48 billion offer for Yahoo Inc. nearly three years ago. Yahoo is valued at half that sum today.

I don’t understand why Microsoft would be willing to pay so much for a service that loses money and doesn’t seem to have anything that Microsoft couldn’t build themselves for much less than $8 billion. Even the possibility of a simple talent acquisition seems out of the question. I’m certain Microsoft could poach their best developers for far less than $8 billion.

(Via Daring Fireball.)