Microsoft (MSFT -0.37%) might soon be signing an 11-figure deal to buy a company active in video game services.
Bloomberg, citing "people familiar with the matter" and earlier media reports, published an article Monday night saying that the IT giant is engaged in discussions to buy Discord for over $10 billion. Discord has developed an online chat community for video gamers, facilitating communication among teams or competitors via video, voice, and text.
According to the article's sources, the company is discussing a sale with potential buyers, among them Microsoft. Discord has apparently also held talks with Amazon (AMZN 0.19%) and top developer Epic Games (the company behind Fortnite and other well-known titles), although those discussions were in the past, and it is not clear whether they are are ongoing.
Discord is also considering going public, which one source said is more likely than an outright sale.
The coronavirus pandemic has shone a spotlight on companies like Discord that service popular activities taking place online (and, therefore, in the isolation we are living through during the outbreak). As for Microsoft, it is apparently interested in acquiring assets that tie together large communities of users, like Discord.
Microsoft is also probably eager to gain any edge it can over fellow game-console makers, as that business is very competitive and dominated by powerful, well-capitalized rivals. Microsoft has plowed money into game developers, and has devoted considerable resources to pushing its Game Pass subscription service.
Neither Microsoft nor Discord has commented on the recent speculation.