So Microsoft is buying Skype for $8.5 billion, its biggest deal ever. It’s too soon to make a pronouncement on whether the purchase is an idiot move, a brilliant one or just something in between. All the geniuses who ripped the investors who bought Skype from eBay in 2009 don’t look so smart now.
It was almost Google who owned Skype.
Here’s more detail on the story:
In 2009 a brilliant product manager named Wesley Chan was in charge of Google Voice, which was still in development. It was Google’s revamp of Grand Central, which Chan had snared in an acquisition the year before. When some Google executives heard that eBay was selling Skype, they jumped on the opportunity and began negotiating.
As Chan helped with due diligence, even going to Europe to see Skype firsthand, he became convinced that the purchase was a bad idea for Google. He concluded that one of Skype’s key assets — its peer-to-peer technology — was a mismatch for Google, which worked on the newer paradigm of cloud computing.