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Microsoft in Talks to Buy Discord for More Than $10 Billion

Reports from San Francisco has said that Discord, a social media company popular with gamers, has held deal talks with Microsoft for a transaction that could top US$10 billion, according to people briefed on the situation.

The talks were preliminary and no deal is imminent, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the discussions are confidential. The talks have taken place as video gaming has boomed in the pandemic and as Microsoft, one of the world’s most valuable tech companies, has bolstered its gaming business with deal making.

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Many of Microsoft’s acquisitions in recent years have focused on online communities, such as its purchases of LinkedIn, GitHub, and the gaming developer that created Minecraft. Last summer, Microsoft was in talks to buy the video app TikTok in what would have been a blockbuster acquisition; the discussions later fell apart. In September, Microsoft also bought ZeniMax Media, the parent company of several large gaming studios, for US$7.5 billion.

Discord, which counts more than 100 million monthly active users, has been highly popular in the pandemic, as people have used the service to chat with one another while playing games. The San Francisco-based company, which has raised nearly US$600 million in funding since 2014, has had preliminary deal talks with various suitors over the years, said another person with knowledge of the matter.

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The privately held company, which investors valued at US$7 billion in December, is also a candidate to go public. This month, Discord hired its first chief financial officer, a sign that it may be preparing for an initial public offering.

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