Video game chat app Discord ends takeover talks with Microsoft

Discord is now focused on a potential public listing in the long term.
Discord is now focused on a potential public listing in the long term.PHOTO: REUTERS

SAN FRANCISCO (BLOOMBERG) - Microsoft and video-game chat company Discord have ended takeover talks after Discord rejected a US$12 billion (US$15.9 billion) bid, according to people familiar with the matter.

Discord is now focused on a potential public listing in the long term, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

Several other companies also tried to buy Discord in recent weeks, the people said. The identity of these companies could not immediately be learned.

Representatives for Discord and Microsoft declined to comment.

San Francisco-based Discord is best known for its free service that lets gamers communicate by video, voice and text. People stuck at home during the pandemic have increasingly used its technology for study groups, dance classes, book clubs and other virtual gatherings.

It has been expanding its communication tools to turn it into a "place to talk" rather than merely a gamer-centric chat platform.

Bloomberg previously reported the companies were in talks about a deal but that Discord was more likely to do an initial public offering. Discord has also held discussions with Epic Games and Amazon.com in the past, people familiar with the matter have said.

The Wall Street Journal had earlier reported on sales talks ending.

Microsoft remains busy on the deals front. Earlier this month, it said it would buy speech-recognition pioneer Nuance Communications in an all-cash deal valued at US$19.6 billion.

Last year, it tried to buy social-media app TikTok and held talks to acquire Pinterest, as it looked for assets that would provide access to thriving communities of users, people familiar with the matter have said. Microsoft's Xbox business has also been expanding the suite of subscription perks it provides as part of its Game Pass offering.