Microsoft is set to close its London Skype offices, as part of a consolidation process in the British capital, the manufacturer has confirmed to Mobile.
The move by the US technology giant would put up to 220 jobs at risk. Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5bn in 2011, but has failed to really find a clear place for the video calling service in its business. Now it appears to be scaling down Skype’s operations in the UK at least.
Once hailed as the major threat to mobile operators, Skype has since come under some serious competition from other over-the-top international calling services. Apple’s FaceTime calling app, as well as Facebook and WhatsApp all offer alternatives.
Some networks have also responded by offering no extra cost international calling, pushed primarily by Three in the UK. A host of new MVNOs such as iD now also offer the service.
Microsoft has been taking a number of cost cutting measures in the UK. In June the business axed its mobile field marketing team which consisted of 50 trainers.
‘Microsoft is consolidating offices across London, moving employees to Microsoft’s new office at Paddington. As part of this effort, Microsoft reviewed some London-based roles and made the decision to unify some engineering positions, potentially putting at risk a number of globally focused Skype and Yammer roles. We are deeply committed to doing everything we can to help those impacted through this process. Microsoft will be entering into a consultation process and offer new opportunities, where possible.’