Last month, Microsoft revealed it is acquiring open source hosting repository GitHub in a $7.5 billion transaction. It is well-known that Redmond has courted the company for several years. However, we speculated that the $7.5 billion fee was a little high, which could have meant rival bidders. Well, Google has today admitted Microsoft beat it to the punch after a rival bid.
The reason we questioned the value of the acquisition is because it has gone up so fast. GitHub was valued at $2 billion in 2015. Sure, the company has grown over the three years, but it seemed at least another party was challenging Microsoft.
Diane Greene, Google’s head of cloud hinted the company was competing with Microsoft:
“I wouldn’t have minded buying them, but it’s OK,” Greene claims. While that’s not a clear indication a Google bid was ever made, it seems reasonable considering rumors persisted the company did make an offer.
As we reported when Microsoft announced the acquisition, the role of CEO Satya Nadella was important. Indeed, GitHub founder Chris Wanstrath is said to have been impressed with Nadella and chose Microsoft for that reason.
When Google’s apparent involvement was revealed earlier this month, the company refused to make a comment. Additionally, Google did not say whether it will continue to use GitHub when it is in Microsoft hands. When the acquisition was announced, Microsoft said GitHub will continue to operate independently.
Facebook did commit to keep using the service, saying “as long as GitHub remains a great place to share our projects and collaborate with the open source community, we’ll continue to use it.”
Microsoft’s decision to buy GitHub was met with mixed responses. The Linux Foundation has praised the move. Many dev’s decided Microsoft’s involvement was too much to take and moved to rival hosting service Bitbucket, while many have expressed concerns about the acquisition.