The Microsoft-Yammer deal we first reported on Wednesday is on, and everyone’s talking about what the $1 billion-plus acquisition means for the industry.There’s no confirmation through official channels that the software giant is buying the social-enterprise startup, but we’ve gotten some tidbits that are worth sharing.
- Price: Every time we talk to someone, the number on the deal seems to go up by $200 million. We’ve heard $1 billion, $1.2 billion, $1.4 billion, and $1.6 billion. That suggests that there might be some continued negotiations over price.
- Length of talks: We’ve heard through two sources that a deal has been pretty much locked in for weeks.
- Timing: One source said that—contrary to our speculation Friday—Microsoft specifically did not want to announce a Yammer acquisition at a big media event it planned for Monday, because it wanted to put some distance between that deal and other announcements it was making. Bloomberg is now reporting that the companies were originally targeting late June. It seems crazy that Microsoft and Yammer thought they could keep it quiet that long. And sure enough, they couldn’t.
- Yammer hiring: We heard about one case where Yammer offered a new recruit a job and then rescinded the offer, citing “acquisition rumours” as a reason. But Yammer manager Steve Hopkins was at a Rails conference in Australia this weekend recruiting engineers. So it doesn’t look like there’s a pause on hiring as much as some internal confusion about where things stand with the deal.
So what happens Monday, when Microsoft is scheduled to hold a “major announcement” in Los Angeles? Even if Yammer wasn’t on the agenda before, everyone will be talking about it now.