At a value over $7 billion, the Skype deal would rank at or near
the top of the biggest acquisitions 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.
Skype for $7B sounds nutty to me. Skype loses money. Everyone agreed Skype wasn’t worth much after eBay took a bath on it a few years ago, at a far lower price than this. What’s changed?