By Cara Lombardo and Maureen Farrell 

Microsoft Corp. is in advanced talks to acquire messaging platform Discord Inc. for $10 billion or more, according to people familiar with the matter, as the software giant seeks to deepen its consumer offerings.

Microsoft and Discord are in exclusive talks and could complete a deal next month, assuming the negotiations don't fall apart, the people said.

Originally favored by gamers, San Francisco-based Discord offers voice, text and video chatting. The platform's popularity has surged since the pandemic took hold as people stay home and connect online -- as have those of other chat services like Facebook Inc.'s WhatsApp and Signal Messenger LLC.

Microsoft, which has a market value of over $1.7 trillion, has been on the hunt for an acquisition that would help it reach more consumers. Last summer, it held talks to buy the popular video-sharing app TikTok amid a high-profile geopolitical standoff prompted by the Trump administration, before abandoning the effort.

VentureBeat reported this week that Discord was exploring a sale and had entered exclusive discussions with an unnamed suitor.

(More to come.)

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 25, 2021 19:47 ET (23:47 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.