Microsoft reportedly in talks to acquire Github

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Microsoft is reportedly in talks with GitHub with a mind to potentially buy the popular source-code software development platform, which hosts developers’ software blueprints and allows them to share and manage their projects online.

The website is free to use, although you have to pay a monthly or yearly fee for extra features – such as private repositories – or stump up for an enterprise account. It also has a marketplace of third-party apps that plug into its service. It says it has built up an annual run rate of more than $200m in subscriptions.

GitHub is said to carry at least a $5bn price tag after it was last valued at $2bn during its latest funding round in 2015. That may be a figure Microsoft isn’t quite willing to cough up just yet.

On Friday this week, Business Insider reported that Microsoft had held serious talks with GitHub in the past few weeks to buy the business, according to anonymous sources. CNBC offered some more background on the takeover: a source said Microsoft and GitHub were chatting together about a $35m marketing partnership, which grew into the pair mulling an investment injection or GitHub folding into Microsoft, but Redmond balked at the asking price.

Microsoft and GitHub do work together on development tools, and Redmond places a lot of its open-source code repositories on GitHub. GitHub is used by some 23 million programmers, so partnerships to connect those developers to Microsoft are expected to be on the cards – but an acquisition may be a step too far. Microsoft absorbing GitHub has been floated before, and it came to nothing.

Microsoft and GitHub both declined to comment on the rumors.

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