Rumors have popped up about the possibility of Microsoft buying Discord for over $10 billion, according to Bloomberg. Both companies declined to comment, which is understandable as they would be dealing with confidential information in such a case. This information came to light after Discord reportedly started having deal discussions with multiple parties, and the name Microsoft came on top.
Microsoft’s monopoly grows
There’s been a discussion about whether Microsoft is a monopoly or not. Some defend Microsoft and claim there’s no such thing, and that Microsoft is competing on the global market on the same terms. Others hold the opposite view and see Microsoft as a monopoly who are out to squash the competition. Whatever the case may be, it’s certain that Microsoft has shown a trend of buying out smaller individual companies in the past.
Just last year, Microsoft finalized a $7.5 billion deal and bought ZeniMax media, which is the parent company of Bethesda, moving all of Bethesda’s titles over to Xbox and creating the option to have exclusivity deals in the future, much in the same way that Epic Games did with their own platform. Microsoft owned MSN messenger and enjoyed great success for quite some time. Once Skype showed up and took over, Microsoft bought them out. Although Skype is still strong and has a considerable number of users, many fled Skype to new independent communication apps such as Discord. There has been very little innovation in Skype in the past decade, and in fact, many argue that it became worse. Who is to say that history won’t repeat itself if Microsoft buys Discord and replaces Skype with it.
Will independent companies vanish?
Discord is one of the last bastions of free communication on the internet, although it is regulated to a certain extent. The ease of use and the sleek design are very appealing, and it’s no wonder that Discord has over 100 million monthly active users. It is also appealing to companies like Microsoft. Discord is valued at $7 billion by investors, and they’ve recently hired their first chief financial officer, which suggests they might also be going public. We’re not sure what’s happening behind closed doors, but Discord will most likely go in one of these two directions.
When it comes to smaller independent companies, it’s important to admit that many of these companies are formed with the sole intent of growing until they’re bought out by a larger company. The average user is always the last to know, and they are met with a choice to either stay or migrate to a different platform. The internet has advanced in many ways, but when it comes to personal freedoms it’s a shell of its former self. In many cases, the user becomes the product and the only way to avoid this situation is to have smaller independent companies constantly forming and operating to keep the balance in check and to allow for more options instead of less.
The question that we have to ask ourselves is whether independent companies will cease to exist one day. Microsoft buying out Discord could be the first step towards such a future, and that is a future many wish to avoid