Microsoft buys business social network Yammer for $US1.2 billion
Microsoft confirmed one of the industry's worst-kept secrets today: it will acquire Yammer for $1.2 billion in cash.
Yammer provides a web-based service for building a social network inside a company, boosted by various tools for sharing files and collaborating on projects.
It claims five million users worldwide across 200,000 companies.
Microsoft says Yammer will continue to develop its standalone product, but in future will be integrated with Office 365 (the cloud version of Office), Sharepoint and another recent Microsoft acquisition, Skype.
Yammer works on a "freemium" model with its basic service free, and charges from $US5 per user per month for various add-ons including administrative tools and online file storage.
The privately held company was founded by CEO David Sacks (now 40) in 2008. It hasn't disclosed any financials.
For now, they will be chump change in the greater Microsoft scheme of things (the company has a market cap of $US249 billion, and around $US50 billion in the bank).
Microsoft shares [NAS:MSFT] were down 3.22% in late trading, outpacing a broader Nasdaq decline of 1.8% on Eurozone fears.