Microsoft announces plan to acquire GitHub for US$7.5 billion

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

On Monday, United States technology giant Microsoft announced their plans to acquire GitHub, a San Francisco, California-based web-based hosting service for software version control using Git, for 7.5 billion US Dollars (USD).

File photo of Nat Friedman, reportedly to become CEO of GitHub.
Image: Doc Searls.

In the official announcement at the Microsoft News web site, the company said they are to reach agreement with GitHub by the end of the year. They said the agreement would allow them to deliver Microsoft development services to GitHub users, and "accelerate enterprise use of GitHub". GitHub had been financially struggling recently and is expected to get a new CEO.

In 2016, according to financial news and media company Bloomberg L.P., through three quarters GitHub lost USD 66 million, while in nine months of that year GitHub had revenue of USD 98 million. In August 2017 GitHub said they were seeking a new CEO. According to the announcements by GitHub and Microsoft, the Microsoft Corporate Vice President Nat Friedman would become the new CEO of GitHub. He had created app creation platform company Xamarin and was "an open-source veteran", Microsoft said.

GitHub confirmed the acquisition plans on its blog. In this announcement they alluded to concerns about past friction between Microsoft and open-source software, however they said "things are different. [...] Microsoft is the most active organization on GitHub in the world", mentioning VS Code as an example. In the announcement, GitHub also referred to its several years of collaboration with Microsoft on Git LFS and Electron. GitHub also mentioned the Azure development platform run by Microsoft.


Sources

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