updated 05:30 pm EDT, Tue October 11, 2011
Microsoft-Skype deal near wrapped up in US
Microsoft's buyout of Skype could be formally completed in the US this week, multiple tips indicated Tuesday. They explained to AllThingsD that it was "likely" the deal would be done in the next few days. The agreement already has American and European approval and is likely just waiting on formalities.
The still-separate companies haven't confirmed the progress, although Microsoft has already gone on record as expecting an October completion. When it does, Skype will become a division of Microsoft.
Microsoft has so far planned to integrate Skype into much of its product line, ranging from business communication through to software and its mobile devices. It plans deep Windows Phone tie-ins and could see Skype become a direct equivalent to Apple's FaceTime or Google Talk on Android.
Regulators haven't seen any competitive issues, but concerns exist that Microsoft won't necessarily treat it fairly. CEO Steve Ballmer has insisted that cross-platform support will continue, but the company has a history of neglecting non-Microsoft platforms. Many have complained of how development at the Mac Business Unit has at times been well behind Windows versions, sometimes with little apparent reason.
The Windows developer is also sometimes notorious for mismanaging acquisitions. It bought Danger for $500 million in 2008 to get the Sidekick maker's experience for the Kin project, but corporate infighting and attempts to silence input from the very people it had hired led to the phone's quick failure.