“You’ve got to be kidding me.”
This response, from Microsoft shareholder and trust fund manager Hank Smith, quoted in the Vancouver Sun, pretty much sums up the general response to the $8.5 billion Microsoft paid to acquire Skype. Indeed, no matter how you look at it, the price seems kinda high.
o The next-highest bid, from Google, came in at only $4 billion
o Skype has lost money four of the last five years
o $8.5 billion is 39 percent higher than Skype’s own estimate of itself in its April regulatory filing
o It’s the highest price paid for an acquisition since 2000, the height of the dot-com boom
On the other hand, Microsoft does have plenty of cash, and a very big need to compete better with Google. So maybe this will wind up looking like a smart move in the long run.
Meanwhile, loyal Skype users are fretting that Microsoft will ruin the service…and some may be considering Google Talk as an alternative.