Steve Ballmer oversaw Microsoft's $8.5 billion Skype bid himself, and insisted that Skype sign a "no-shop" clause to keep it from soliciting other bids, according to Bloomberg.
Microsoft was already negotiating a partnership with Skype when Ballmer talked to Windows and Office execs and heard enough to convince him to launch a takeover. In March, he sent CFO Peter Klein to make an unsolicited buyout bid from majority Skype owner Silver Lake Partners.
Skype's starting price was $7 billion -- that's how much the company expected to get from its IPO.
Throughout the talks, Microsoft's negotiators insisted that Skype was not allowed to shop the company around to other bidders.
So Facebook and Google never had a chance.
The companies agreed on the $8.5 billion price in April but didn't sign the deal until yesterday.
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