A deal could be announced as early as Tuesday, the Journal said, but negotiations aren't yet final and the transaction could still fall apart. Including Skype's debt, the total value of the deal is about $8.5 billion, which would make the acquisition the largest in Microsoft's history.
Shares of Microsoft dropped 1.5% to $25.44 in pre-market trading Tuesday.
Google (GOOG) is planning to release a new service that allows people to upload and store their music collections on the Internet and to listen to songs on Android-based phones and tablets. Called Music Beta by Google, the service will be similar to Amazon's cloud-based service, announced in March.Shares of Google increased 0.4% in pre-market trading Tuesday. YouTube said Monday that it will expand its online streaming movie rental service by adding 3,000 films. The deals will be with companies including Warner Brothers, NBC Universal and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Flash sales company Gilt Groupe has been valued at over $1 billion after its most recent funding round. The New York-based company announced on Monday that it had raised $138 million, its largest round to date. Internet TV platform Roku said on Monday it has reached 15 million channel downloads to its base of more than 1 million users. The company predicts it will surpass 3 million customers by the end of the year. --Written by Olivia Oran in New York.
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