Maybe it will turn out to be a brilliant move, but Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) sure seems desperate by paying $8.5 billion for Skype.

The software giant isn't afraid to dig into its hefty bag of greenbacks to make something happen. It's paying billions to the world's leading handset maker to make sure that its mobile operating system has a strong voice in the competitive niche. It may wind up paying even more than that over the years to take over the paid-search business of the country's second most popular search engine.

Instead of being a tenant this time, why not be the landlord of the world's leading voice and video chat platform? Skype delivered 207 billion minutes of connectivity last year to its growing base of 170 million users.

There's no sense arguing about it: Microsoft overpaid for Skype by a historical -- and hysterical -- amount. But that doesn't necessarily mean Microsoft won't be able to make this mpve pay off.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Citigroup (NYSE: C) is no longer trading in the single digits, but it needed the 1-for-10 reverse split that went into effect on Monday to get out of there.
  • Latin American social-networking website operator Quepasa (AMEX: QPSA) posted a narrower loss, though 93% of its revenue is coming from a company affiliated with one of its board members. Diversify, in Spanish, is diversificarse.
  • Rovi's (Nasdaq: ROVI) acquisition of Sonic Solutions is starting to pay off.  The digital-entertainment specialist posted better-than-expected results, with a healthy outlook to boot.
  • Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) hit a new intraday high of $2.42 on Wednesday. That's the satellite radio provider's meatiest share price since the summer of 2008.
  • Zipcar (Nasdaq: ZIP) posted a widening loss in its first quarterly report since going public, but is it really losing money? Zipcar is scoring 17% in pre-tax profit margins in its four established markets, which account for more than half of its revenue.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

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